Gov. Gretchen Whitmer explains importance of essential employees

Governor Whitmer's official press photo

MARQUETTE COUNTY — COVID-19 has been impacting the communities in the State of Michigan and continues to get worse. On April 2nd, Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a state wide town hall meeting, where she answered questions from multiple news outlets.

Many topics that were talked about were in regards to the closing of school facilities, personal protection equipment and the terms “essential” vs. “non-essential” employees.

Governor Whitmer understands that with her statewide ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order is damaging the Michigan economy, but in contrast is helping slow the spread of the disease. The governor focused greatly on what it means to be “essential” in her town hall meeting, and why some Michiganders need to continue staying at home.

“Essential is something that I know has created a lot of questions,” explained Governor Gretchen Whitmer, D-MI. “Here is how we look at it. If it is not a life sustaining activity, not providing someone’s energy, food, or even pharmaceuticals and healthcare, then they are probably not essential.”

To help control the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order on April 2 setting a civil penalty of up to $1,000 and a process for referral to licensing agencies for violations of Executive Orders 2020-11, 2020-20 and 2020-21. Criminal penalties for violation will remain an option for prosecutors.

For more information regarding the new emergency order you can click here.