Advocacy News – Oct 13, 2020
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new Emergency Order on October 9 restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces, placing capacity limitations on stores, bars and other public venues and regulating the workplace.
The “Gathering Prohibition and Face Covering Order” (Order) specifies:
- Gatherings of employees in the workplace are prohibited under any of the following circumstances:
- Except in Region 6 (Traverse City region), if not strictly necessary to perform job duties, provided however that, where gatherings are necessary, employees must still maintain six feet of distance from one another where practicable;
- If employees not otherwise required to wear face coverings cannot maintain six feet of distance from others; and/or
- If employees not otherwise required to wear face coverings occupy the same indoor shared space, such as conference rooms, restrooms, and hallways.
- Employees who are subject to a recommendation to isolate or quarantine consistent with CDC guidance; have been instructed to remain home by a health or public health professional; or who are awaiting a COVID-19 test or the results of a COVID-19 test after having symptoms of COVID-19, must not be present in a gathering at work until the employee is advised by a health or public health professional that they may return to work, or the following conditions are met: (1) 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and (2) 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared or since they were administered a COVID-19 test that yielded the positive result, if applicable; and (3) Other symptoms have improved.
- All businesses or operations that require their employees to gather with other persons for work must conduct a daily entry self-screening protocol for all employees or contractors entering the workplace, including, at a minimum, a questionnaire covering symptoms of COVID-19 and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19.
- Masks must be worn at any gatherings occurring at businesses, offices, schools, childcare facilities, sporting events and other non-residential events.
- A person responsible for a business, government office, school, or other operation, or an agent of such person, must not allow indoor gatherings of any kind unless they require individuals in such gatherings (including employees) to wear a face covering.
- Businesses cannot admit individuals who do not wear a face covering with few exceptions.
- The mask requirement continues to apply for organized gatherings larger than 10 indoors and 100 outdoors.
- Capacity limits apply to indoor gatherings, including business, social and recreational.
- Except in Region 6 (Traverse City region), a gathering at a retail store, library or museum may not exceed 50 percent of total occupancy limit established by state or local fire marshal.
- Gatherings at recreational sports and exercise facilities are prohibited if they exceed 25 percent of the total occupancy limits established by the by state or local fire marshal, or if there is less than six feet of distance between each workout station.
- Gatherings at non-tribal casinos may not exceed 15 percent of total occupancy limits established by state or local fire marshal.
- Food service establishments may not exceed 50 percent of normal seating capacity.
- Capacity limits also apply to outdoor gatherings, but are less strict.
- Restaurants and bars have capacity limits for gatherings, and may only serve alcohol to parties who are seated, six feet apart, and remain separate.
- Organized sports require face coverings and have gathering limits.
Finally, many businesses must continue to be required to maintain accurate records of the names, contact information, date and time of entry of all visitors. These facilities, which include sports and entertainment facilities and places of public amusement, theaters and cinemas, concert halls, sporting venues, stadiums, amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, skating rinks, and trampoline parks, must deny entry to any visitor who does not provide their name and phone number.
Local health departments have authority to carry out and enforce the terms of the Order. Law enforcement officers may also enforce the Order, and are specifically authorized to investigate potential violations of this order. They may coordinate as necessary with the appropriate regulatory entity and enforce this order within their jurisdiction. Violations of this order are a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of not more than $200, or both. Violations of this order are also punishable by a civil fine of up to $1,000.
The order took effective immediately and remains in effect through Friday, Oct. 30. Please contact the Chamber with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.