April 24, 2020 / 2:06 PM / a month ago

Michigan governor extends shutdown order, but lifts some restrictions

DETROIT, April 24 (Reuters) - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Friday extended her stay-at-home order in the state through May 15, while lifting restrictions so some businesses can open and the public can participate in outdoor activities like golf and motorized boating, a spokeswoman for the governor said.

The measure immediately replaces one that was scheduled to expire next week, the spokeswoman said.

Whitmer is scheduled to provide an update on the state’s handling of the pandemic at 11 am ET.

Whitmer, a Democrat, has been criticized by some Michigan residents and Republican lawmakers for being too restrictive in her lockdown of the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus. She has also been mentioned as a potential running mate for presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Michigan, which President Donald Trump, a Republican, narrowly won in 2016, is considered a crucial swing state in the November presidential election. The state, whose COVID-19 infections rank among the highest, has become a focus of agitation to relax social-distancing rules that are among the strictest in the nation. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit, additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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