UPDATED: Some businesses close with ‘Stay Home. Stay Safe’ order

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed an executive order temporarily suspending all activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, from 12:01 a.m. on March 24 and through 11:59 p.m. on April 13.

Whitmer stressed that the order does not affect grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies, banks, or credit unions. A detailed explanation of exemptions, and what essential businesses should do to keep workers and customers safe, is posted at michigan.gov.

People can leave their homes, and Whitmer encouraged everyone to spend time in the outdoors, while maintaining the recommended six feet of social distancing.

“Do not panic, do not hoard,” Whitmer said during a press conference. “You can go outside, just be smart about it.”

The executive order also extends the closure of Michigan schools through April 13. Whitmer said she would make additional announcements on that topic soon.

As the news broke, Farmington area businesses and organizations began communicating how they’ll deal with the order.

In an email to members, Greater Farmington Area Chamber Director Connor Osborn said the Chamber is creating an area of gfachamber.com specifically to help businesses get the word out about changes they’re making. Information will also be shared on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Members were encouraged to share “anything that you feel is important to get across to our community that pertains to how COVID-19 is impacting your business,” Osborn wrote.

(Farmington Voice has also created a page where businesses can share news: farmingtonvoice.com/covid-19-business-news/).

Silver Dairy owner Jason Smith announced the temporary closure of his iconic Farmington business, after Monday hours (2-9 p.m.). In a social media message to customers, he wrote:

”For the last 11 years, I considered ice cream ‘essential’. That has changed today. Our priority is the safety of our employees and customers.”

Sunflour Bakehaus, on the other hand, falls under the Executive Order’s list of essential businesses. The bakery had already established social distancing measures, such as allowing no more than four customers at one time in the downtown Farmington shop.

“The new normal is very doable for us as a business and you as customers,” owners wrote in a Monday social media post.

CARES of Farmington Hills announced it will reduce drive-up pantry hours to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Those in need must make an appointment by calling 248-474-8231, Tuesday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Guests can visit the CARES pantry once per month.

CARES needs cash donations to cover the increased costs of operating its drive-up pantry and increase in need. To learn more, visit caresfh.org/about/covid-19-updates/.

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