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What Do Eased Restrictions of Michigan’s Reaffirmed Stay-At-Home Measures Mean for Your Business?

April 24, 2020

Lansing Capitol Building

On April 24, 2020, Governor Whitmer reaffirmed the stay-at-home measures set forth in Executive Order 2020-42, amended the scope of that order, and extended the duration of such measures through May 15, 2020 (unless modified earlier). While many of the restrictions from her prior executive orders remain in place, Executive Order 2020-59 includes some easing of in-person operation restrictions as well as some corresponding requirements for those operations. What does this mean for your business?

In-person work is still restricted in the State of Michigan, and residents are still ordered to stay at home unless they meet certain exceptions. Executive Order 2020-59, however, has eased certain restrictions for businesses while imposing new requirements for certain operations. For instance, Governor Whitmer has expanded permitted in-operations to include certain resumed activities. Some resumed activities, however, are subject to certain enhanced social distancing rules that were not included in prior executive orders. The new restrictions and requirements are discussed below as well as what businesses must continue to do during this state of emergency.

What workers may now perform in-person operations as resumed activity workers?

  • Workers who process or fulfill remote orders for goods for delivery or curbside pick-up,[1]
  • Workers who perform bicycle maintenance or repair;
  • Workers for garden stores, nurseries, lawn care, pest control, and landscaping operations, subject to the enhanced social distancing rules described below;
  • Maintenance workers and groundskeepers who are necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of places of outdoor recreation not otherwise closed under Executive Order 2020-43 or any other order that may follow from it (provided that the places and their workers do not provide goods, equipment, supplies, or services to individuals, and subject to the enhanced social distancing rules described below); and
  • Workers for moving or storage operations, subject to the enhanced social distancing rules described below.

What are the enhanced social distancing rules that are required for the identified resumed activities?

  • Bar gatherings of any size in which people cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another;
  • Limit in-person interaction with clients and patrons to the maximum extent possible and bar any such interaction in which people cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another;
  • Provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face masks as appropriate for the activity being performed; and
  • Adopt protocols to limit the sharing of tools and equipment to the maximum extent possible and to ensure frequent and thorough cleaning of tools, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces. 

What remains the same for in-person business operations permitted under Executive Order 2020-59? 

  • Employers must designate workers as workers to perform resumed activities (workers do not need to carry such designations when they leave their homes);
  • Stores of more than 50,000 square feet no longer have to close certain areas of their stores and may continue to sell goods other than necessary supplies if the sale of such goods is in the ordinary course of business (but they are still subject to certain limitations for the number of customers and certain dedicated shopping times for vulnerable populations);
  • Stores must consider establishing curbside pick-up to reduce in-store traffic and mitigate outdoor lines;
  • All businesses and operations whose workers perform in-person work must, at a minimum, provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers (supplies of N95 and surgical masks should be reserved for critical workers who interact with the public like health care professionals and first responders);[2] and
  • Protections against discrimination in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and other protections against discrimination under Michigan law apply in full force to persons who wear a mask under Executive Order 2020-59.[3]

What remains the same for business operations under Executive Order 2020-59 from prior orders? 

  • Businesses must still make the required designations for critical infrastructure workers or those who conduct minimum basic operations;
  • In-person activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life (or now to perform a resumed activity) must be suspended;
  • Businesses must still develop a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan consistent with the Executive Order and the Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. This plan must be available at the company headquarters or the worksite;
  • Restrict the number of workers present on-premises to no more than is strictly necessary to perform the in-person work permitted under the order;
  • Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible;
  • Keep workers and patrons on the premises at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible;
  • Increase facility cleaning and disinfection to limit worker and patron exposure;
  • Adopt protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace;
  • Adopt policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19;
  • Adopt any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the CDC;
  • For stores less than 50,000 square feet of customer floor space, those stores must limit the number of people in the store (including employees) to 25 percent of the total occupancy limits established by the State Fire Marshal or a local fire marshal;
  • For stores more than 50,000 square feet, those stores must limit the number of customers in the store at one time (excluding employees) to four people per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space and create at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations;
  • No one can rent a short-term vacation property except as necessary to assist in housing a health care professional aiding in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic or a volunteer who is aiding the same; and
  • Businesses must continue to comply with state law, including but not limited to Executive Order 2020-36 (Protecting workers who stay home, stay safe when they or their close contacts are sick), as well as any relevant local order as well.

For a full copy of Executive Order 2020-59, please click here

If you have any questions concerning Executive Order 2020-59, please contact either Courtney Kissel (248-203-0743 or ckissel@dykema.com), Ann Fillingham (517-374-9146 or afillingham@dykema.com) or Len Wolfe (517-374-9178 or lwolfe@dykema.com).

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[1] Under Executive Order 2020-59, “[a]ny business or operation that employs workers who perform resumed activities under section 10(a) of this order, but that does not sell necessary supplies, may sell any goods through remote sales via delivery or at the curbside. Such a business or operation, however, must otherwise remain closed to the public.”

[2] This requirement is effective beginning on April 26, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

[3] Effective April 26, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., Executive Order 2020-59 requires any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering to wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth when in any enclosed public space.

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