The Association for Main Street
Accountants and Tax Professionals.

Michigan Shelter in Place Order
Michigan Orders 'Shelter in Place'
Order Through April 13

March 23, 2020 -- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a sheltering order called "'Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives' that requires all residents to stay home unless they are working a job that is considered "essential." The order contains the following provisions:


• Go to the grocery store or pick up take-out food.
• Go to the pharmacy to pick up a needed prescription.
• Engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, biking.
• Go to the hospital or secure any care necessary to address a medical emergency.
• Fill your car with gas.
• Return to Michigan to a home or place of residence from outside the State.
• Leave the State for a home or residence elsewhere.
• Walk pets and take them to the veterinarian for needed medical care.


• Leave the home to work unless your employer designates you as a critical infrastructure worker.
• Participate in any public gatherings.
• Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home, or other residential care facilities (with limited exceptions).
• Go to the mall or to restaurants.


• Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible.
• Restrict the number of workers present in-person on the job.
• Keep employees at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible
• enable social distancing for customers who are standing in line.
• Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and

For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM - 5PM daily. 

Here are links to the actual order and related information released by the Governor:

Executive Order 2020-21
Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life

Michigan "Stay-Home-Stay-Safe" Order (3-23-2020) (3-23-2020)
The official order executed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on March 23, 2020

What is 'Critical Services" Under Stay Home Order (3-23-2020)
Homeland Security Explanation of What Qualifies as "Critical Services"
and Listings of Classifications and Business Types Covered

What Does a "Sheltering" Order Mean in General Terms?

March 22, 2020 -- The basics of a "shelter-in-place" order are fairly clear: stay at home. But as cities, states and the federal government take increasingly aggressive moves to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the precise details of a shelter-in-place order and its many exceptions for "essential activities" would have to be clarified in the Governor Whitmer's order.

Orders recently issued in other states have included the following:

o Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor.

o Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and other essential supplies necessary for staying at home.

o Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running provided that they maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing.

o Caring for a family member in another household.

o Caring for elderly people, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

A "shelter-in-place order" commonly does not apply to those going to work in an essential business or essential government function. That could  include:

o Health care operations, including home health workers.

o Essential infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities.

o Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores.

o Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities.

o Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities.

o Gas stations and auto repair facilities. 

o Banks; garbage collection; hardware stores; plumbers; electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety,  sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses.

o Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning.

o Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers.

o Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences.

o Child care facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work.

o Roles required for any essential business to "maintain basic operations," which include security, payroll and similar activities.

Based on this listing, if your practice provides payroll services, you could maintain you provide an essential service and could remain open for customer service. Accounting, tax preparation, and related financial services probably will not be designated as "essential services" unless Governor Whitmer specifically includes them in her order. We recommend that you do not plan for this.
MTAP P.O. Box 398 Bath, MI 48808-0398