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COVID-19 in Grand Rapids: Friday, April 24 updates

Gov. Whitmer extends revised “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15, City of Grand Rapids updates service changes following stay-home order extension, and Local First and local entrepreneur launch free WhatsOpenWM web app promoting open West Michigan business' offerings.
Gov. Whitmer provided COVID-19 response updates and details of "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order extension through May 15.

Gov. Whitmer provided COVID-19 response updates and details of "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order extension through May 15. /Michigan State Police

Kent County enters the weekend with 906 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 29 related deaths. Statewide, there are now 36,641 confirmed cases and 3,085 related deaths. These numbers, reported by the State of Michigan, are as of today, April 24.

Shared in this Friday, April 24, update are continuing local and state COVID-19 responses from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the City of Grand Rapids, and Local First.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extends “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15 with lifted restrictions, requires Michiganders to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order (EO 20-59) today, April 24, extending her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15, lifting some of its restrictions, and requiring Michiganders to wear homemade face coverings in enclosed public spaces.

Like the original March 23 order and April 9 extension, the new order limits gatherings, travel, and the work activity of workers not necessary to sustain or protect life – with an amended scope.

Effective immediately are the reopening of some businesses with very recently suspended activities and the lifting on some restrictions on outdoor activities. Effective April 26 at 11:59pm, residents able to medically tolerate face coverings must wear at least homemade, non-medical grade face coverings in enclosed public spaces. Employers must also provide at least cloth face coverings to their employees.

“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” said Whitmer. “With new COVID-19 cases leveling off, however, we are lifting some of the restrictions put in place in the previous order. I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible.”

Workers able to return to work include those in landscaping, lawn service, nurseries, and bike repair and maintenance – subject to strict physical distancing. In addition, retailers not selling necessary supplies may reopen for curbside pick-up and delivery, and big box stores can reopen “closed areas,” like garden centers.

Outdoor activities with lifted restrictions include motorized boating and golf, without golf carts, and residents’ travels between their residencies. Sate parks have also been clarified as remaining open, as they have been throughout the state’s emergency and disaster declarations.

For face coverings, while the order says “any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth” in enclosed public spaces, no one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without one.

“The numbers we’ve seen in the past week have shown a plateau in positive cases, but Michiganders must continue doing their part to fight this virus and protect their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “The governor has taken a number of critical steps to protect Michigan families, and this order today will allow that work to continue. We will keep monitoring the data closely and work with our partners across state government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

More details about the executive order is available on the Executive Orders page on Whitmer’s official website.


City of Grand Rapids updates service changes following “Stay Home, Stay Safe” extension through May 15

City Manager Mark Washington announced updates to the City of Grand Rapids’ temporary service changes today, April 24, in response to Gov. Whitmer’s extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15.

With Whitmer’s extended order lifting restrictions on golf activities – without golf carts –, the Citys Indian Trails Golf Course will reopen April 25 at 7am. The City’s yard waste drop-off site at 2001 Butterworth St. SW will also reopen, on April 27, at 8am.

We are pleased to be able to reopen the golf course and yard waste drop-off site to our community,” Washington said. “While we encourage our residents to take advantage of these services, we ask that they continue to maintain safe physical distancing and help us stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Indian Trails Golf Course will reopen with guidelines that include golfers remaining six feet apart when playing – unless they are from the same household –, only four customers allowed in the clubhouse at one time, and all staff wearing masks and gloves.

The yard waste drop-off site at 2001 Butterworth St. SW will reopen with guidelines that include no more than five vehicles allowed to dump material at one time, residents remaining in their vehicles until they are in the unloading area, and all staff wearing masks and gloves. Its hours will be 8am-2pm, Monday through Saturday, until further notice

The City is also is also extending its previously announced service adjustments to align with Whitmer’s extended order. Among these service adjustments are City buildings being closed to walk-in traffic – with its staff available electronically –, suspension of metered parking and parking permit enforcement in many locations, and a limit of no more than 10 attendees at funerals.

More details about the City’s updates to its temporary service changes is available in a statement on its website.


Local First and local entrepreneur launch WhatsOpenWM web app sharing crowdsourced information on open West Michigan businesses’ offerings

Local First have partnered with a local entrepreneur, James Eldersveld, in launching a free web app – WhatsOpenWM – sharing crowdsourced information on West Michigan businesses still able to operate during Gov. Whitmer’s stay-home order. News of the app was first shared on Local First’s Facebook page on April 22.

The crowdsourced information includes open West Michigan businesses’ offerings, hours, contact information, and capabilities, such as ordering online, carryout, delivery, and curbside pickup. The types of businesses included so far are restaurants, coffee shops, health and wellness services, auto repair services, and more. A growing list of fundraisers for local businesses is shared as well.

Users can search by category, keyword, and capability, as well as add businesses and update them in real time,” said Local First. “It includes business resources and fundraisers, too!”

The web app, presently existing only in web browser form, is available at


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