(CBS DETROIT) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference on Nov. 15 on the state’s response to COVID-19.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a new emergency order that enacts a three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates.

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Indoor residential gatherings are limited to two households at one time. The idea is to limit residential and non-residential gatherings where COVID-19 spreads rapidly.

Bars and restaurants will be open for outdoor dining, carry-out, and delivery only.

Gyms will remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place.

Casinos, movie theaters, and group exercise classes will be closed.

Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators, however, all other organized sports must stop.

Colleges and high schools may proceed with remote learning but must end in-person classes.

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“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve, and saved thousands of lives together. Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, frontline workers, and small businesses,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing. If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”

Monday’s order, which takes effect Wednesday, Nov. 18. The order leaves open work that cannot be performed from home, including for manufacturing, construction, and health occupations.

Outdoor gatherings, outdoor dining, and parks remain open.

Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines.

Fewer outbreaks have been seen in elementary and middle schools, and younger children are most in need of in-person instruction.

In-person K-8 schooling may continue if it can be done with strong mitigation, including mask requirements, based on discussion between local health and school officials.

Childcare also remains open to support working parents. Throughout this crisis, Michigan’s teachers and childcare workers have served on the front lines ensuring support for working parents and educating our children.

Governor Whitmer’s administration has worked around the clock to protect Michigan’s teachers and childcare workers and the other heroes serving on the front lines of the pandemic.

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