Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Declaration of State of Emergency
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person to person.
COVID-19 has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City in the Hubei Province of China. Person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred in the United States, with some of those occurring in people with no travel history and no known source of exposure. On January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency for COVID-19, and affected state and local governments have also declared states of emergency.
The State of Michigan has been taking proactive steps to prevent and prepare for the spread of this disease. On February 3, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center, and has been working diligently with local health departments, health systems, and medical providers throughout Michigan to make sure appropriate screening and preparations for COVID-19 are being made. On February 28, 2020, I activated the State Emergency Operations Center to maximize coordination with state, local and federal agencies, as well as private partners, and to help prevent the spread of the disease. On March 3, 2020, I created four task forces comprising key state government agencies to coordinate the state’s response and work closely with the appropriate community and non-governmental stakeholders to combat the spread of COVID-19 and assess the impact it may have on Michiganders’ day-to-day lives. And throughout this time, the State has been working with schools, businesses, medical providers, local health departments, and residents to make sure they have the information they need to prepare for potential cases.
On March 10, 2020, MDHHS identified the first two presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan.
Section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 vests the executive power of the State of Michigan in the governor.
The Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, as amended, MCL 30.403(4), provides that “[t]he governor shall, by executive order or proclamation, declare a state of emergency if he or she finds that an emergency has occurred or that the threat of an emergency exists.”
The Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, 1945 PA 302, as amended, MCL 10.31(1), provides that “[d]uring times of great public crisis, disaster, rioting, catastrophe, or similar public emergency within the state, or reasonable apprehension of immediate danger of a public emergency of that kind, . . . the governor may proclaim a state of emergency and designate the area involved.”
Acting under the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I order the following:
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan.