FLINT (WJRT) (03/24/2020) - Grocery stores will remain open and everyone is welcome to visit them under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's statewide stay home order issued Monday.
But that did little to slow the mad dash of shoppers stocking up Monday evening in the final hours before the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
The order is the state's latest escalation in a battle to limit the spread of coronavirus. Michigan's nearly 10 million residents are ordered to eliminate nonessential travel and stay home for three weeks, except for limited reasons.
However, the order explains grocery stores are considered essential and will remain open.
People were stocking up on meats, produce and cleaning supplies. Just because some shelves were empty doesn't mean it'll stay that way for long.
Kroger says their supply is strong. They know the demand is high, but they are getting products onto the shelves as soon as products arrive from their warehouses.
They're asking customers to be patient, be kind to one another and their associates, and shop responsibly for what they need, knowing they will continue to replenish their stores.
What that means is there is no need to panic or hoard.
"You guys don't need to do all that. It's all going to be here, and the stores are going to be open. They'll get it all packed up and then everybody will get what they need instead of coming in and filling up carts full of stuff," Flint resident Christina Firman said.
One couple says they've left the house just twice in one week, and they're taking precautions while getting what they need at the grocery store.
"Try not to touch too much," Paul Firman said.
Lisa Firman added, "We have hand sanitizer that I use, so that's as best as we can get. I don't want to use the mask because they said to not touch your face, so we're staying away from that, but the hand sanitizer is a must and wiping off the carts."
Whitmer reminded shoppers to practice social distancing and remain six feet away from other shoppers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.