Governor Whitmer announced today that she will end all COVID-19 epidemic orders effective June 22. This means, beginning June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100 percent and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face mask, whether vaccinated or not.
The rescission order, signed today, can be found HERE.
Questions remain about how today’s announcement impacts the MIOSHA Emergency Rules and whether they will also be rescinded. This is relevant because many of the requirements contained in the COVID-19 epidemic orders on gatherings and masking can also be found in the MIOSHA Rules. The MIOSHA Rules continue to cover the following items:
- Requiring employees, except fully vaccinated persons, remain at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent feasible while on worksite premises.
- Requiring employers to provide non-medical grade face coverings to their employees at no cost to the employee (except employers are not required to provide non-medical grade face coverings to fully vaccinated persons).
- Requiring employees, except fully vaccinated persons, to wear face coverings when employees cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals indoors in the workplace.
- Requiring daily entry self-screening protocols for all employees or contractors entering the workplace, including, at a minimum, a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19.
- Requiring employers to enforce quarantine and isolation protocols.
When asked how today’s announcement impacts the MIOSHA Rules, MIOSHA stated: “MIOSHA expects to amend its rules on June 22 to comply with the Biden administration’s new OSHA guidelines for workplaces here in Michigan, replacing the existing COVID emergency rules that are set to expire in October.” We will share additional details as that information becomes available.
While today’s announcement can generally be filed under the category of “good news” and we are pleased to see the state fully reopening and turning the page on COVID-19 restrictions, work remains to return the 231,000 Michiganders currently on unemployment, address the ever-worsening workforce crisis and break down the barriers to employability. The Michigan Chamber has been calling on the Governor to follow the lead of 25 other states and terminate the extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation [FPUC]) and calling on the legislature to appropriate funds for re-employment or return-to-work grants and to fund programs to address other barriers to employability, including access to affordable childcare and housing, the skills gaps and more.