LANSING — On Thursday, Governor Whitmer signed a new executive order that reopens retail businesses and auto dealerships, by appointment only, statewide on Tuesday, May 26. The governor’s executive order also lifts the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental and veterinary procedures statewide beginning on Friday, May 29.
The order also authorizes small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing. Businesses that are open or will reopen on Tuesday will have to adopt social distancing practices and other measures to protect workers.
“The data shows that Michigan is ready to phase in these sectors of our economy, but we must stay vigilant and ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “On behalf of our brave first responders on the front lines of this crisis, we must continue to all do our part by staying safer at home. We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus.”
The governor also signed a separate order, Executive Order 2020-97, updating a prior rule on workplace safety. The amended order reopens outpatient health-care facilities, including clinics, primary care physician offices and dental offices, which will have to adopt strict protocols to prevent infection. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will issue guidance to aid those facilities in adopting appropriate safeguards.
Governor Whitmer Provides Update on State's Response to COVID-19
The live stream will start at 9:55 a.m. and the press conference will begin at 10 a.m.
Posted by Michigan State Police on Thursday, May 21, 2020
“As businesses continue to reopen, it’s crucial that they adopt strict safety measures to protect their employees, customers and their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I know that as medical professionals begin offering nonessential procedures again, they will do everything in their power to protect patients and their families from COVID-19. I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and our partners across Michigan to protect our families and lower the chance of a second wave.”
Businesses maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers. They must also provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.
As with the governor’s previous “Stay Home” orders, any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth — like a homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief — when in any enclosed public space. Michiganders who are not working as critical infrastructure workers or at a business that has been authorized to reopen are asked to stay home to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19.
The announcement was made ahead of a Thursday visit by President Trump to a Ford Motor Company plant in Ypsilanti that is making ventilators needed for COVID-19 patients. A day before, Trump threatened to withhold federal funds from Michigan after Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson mailed absentee ballot applications to millions of voters.
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