Majority Republicans in the state House are out with their plan to start to reopen the state’s economy. Theirs is a three-step approach, a little different from the five-phase plan released last week by Senate Republicans. The House plan would start with a transition to “a risk-based, regional approach” with the metro Detroit areas of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties designated the highest risk. Those would remain under Governor Whitmer’s current “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order but without current restrictions on retailers above 50,000 square feet. Other counties would be designated as “heightened risk” and have the same restrictions as the high-risk areas with some exceptions. Those would be to relax travel restrictions between homes, but continue to urge people to eliminate non-essential travel; allow for remote and curbside sales by businesses; relax the ban on elective and outpatient healthcare procedures so long as there’s enough testing for COVID-19 and PPE for workers; and reduce restrictions on outdoor activities while still being in compliance with social distancing rules.
The “standard risk” counties where there are few COVID-19 cases would have outdoor recreation and travel restriction rules lifted if proper protocols are followed and all businesses not deemed safe by a nine-member Transition Task Force would remain closed. The second step allows for limited reopening of restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses when strict safety protocols are in place, eliminate travel-related bans where possible, and broaden the list of “safe” businesses. The third step is a return to “a new normal,” which would include temporary continuations of some “commercial crowd control measures.”