GRAND HAVEN — Leaders in a West Michigan county are urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to end her stay-home order on June 12, saying a recent extension because of the coronavirus was “deflating” and “demoralizing” after much planning.
Ottawa County is a growing county along Lake Michigan and a magnet for summer tourists. Commissioners this week unanimously voted to send a letter to the governor, a rare step so far among the state’s local governments.
“There is a growing loss of credibility and belief in the ‘Stay Home and Stay Safe’ executive order,” board chairman Roger Bergman said in the letter, noting that some businesses can reopen while others are closed despite a pledge from owners to make them safe for employees and customers.
“Candidly, most people here in West Michigan figured that end date was May 28th, and the extension was a deflating and, frankly, demoralizing impairment of careful planning,” Bergman said.
Whitmer has slowly eased restrictions on businesses, but restaurants and bars still can’t reopen to customers who want to dine and drink inside. There’s an exception in northern Michigan where a ban was lifted May 22.
Theaters, gyms, hair salons and other places of public accommodation remain closed.
“While the data shows that we are making progress, we are not out of the woods yet,” Whitmer said.