By DAVID EGGERT
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday she has the authority to issue a second stay-at-home order to curb the spiking coronavirus if necessary, pointing to an epidemic-powers law that her administration has used since a setback at the state Supreme Court.
The governor spoke with Capitol reporters a day after announcing restrictions amid a surge of COVID-19 cases that has led to increased hospitalizations and deaths. Starting Wednesday, high schools and colleges must halt in-person classes, restaurants must stop indoor dining and entertainment businesses must close. Gathering sizes also will be tightened.
Whitmer renewed her call for the Republican-led Legislature to codify a mask requirement in law in part to send a unified message to the public, calling it “the best weapon we have against our common enemy.” She noted that lawmakers enacted laws keeping intact unemployment benefits and addressing other matters after the high court’s October ruling but said her administration can continue largely combatting the pandemic unilaterally under a public health law.
“This is precisely the power that one of the justices pointed to in terms of actions we can and should be taking throughout this pandemic,” the governor said.