(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is starting to reopen Michigan.

The governor signed a new executive order allowing for the reopening, in two northern regions, of retail businesses, office work that cannot be done remotely and restaurants and bars with limited seating. The regions are MERC regions 6 and 8, as specified in the MI Safe Start Plan.

Region 6 in the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan includes the following counties: Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, and Emmet.

Region 8 includes the following counties: Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Iron, Baraga, Dickinson, Marquette, Menominee, Delta, Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce, Mackinac, and Chippewa.

The partial reopening will start on Friday (May 22). Local authorities in cities, villages, and townships may choose to not reopen, if they wish, or restrict the operations.

“This is a big step, but we must all remember to continue doing our part to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement.

She added, “It’s crucial that all businesses do everything in their power to protect their workers, customers, and their families. And as we approach Memorial Day weekend, I encourage everyone to be smart and be safe. My team and I will continue to work around the clock to protect the people of Michigan.”

All businesses that reopen must adopt the safety measures outlined in the executive order, including providing COVID-19 training to workers, limiting capacity in restaurants and bars to 50% of their normal seating, keeping groups at least six feet from one another, requiring their servers to wear face coverings and following rigorous disinfection protocols.

For more information, go here.

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!