Back to work? The answer to that is yes for some sectors of Michigan business amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-70, which allows the following businesses to resume work on May 7, 2020, with social distancing and safety protocols in place.
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- Real estate industry employees
- Outdoor workers, including forestry workers, outdoor power equipment technicians, parking enforcement workers, and similar positions
- Building trades employees, including electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, etc.
- Manufacturers that produce goods which help businesses make safety modifications to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Construction sites are required to adopt best practices to protect their workers from infection, including:
- Designating a site supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies
- Conducting daily health screenings for workers
- Creating dedicated entry points, issuing stickers or other indicators to ensure that all workers are screened every day
- Identifying high-risk areas such as hallways, hoists and elevators, break areas, water stations, and buses, and controlling them to enable social distancing
- Ensuring sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite
The “Stay Home Stay Safe” mandate, requiring all Michigan residents to shelter at home except for those noted in the order, remains in effect until May 15, 2020. Read the full text of Executive Order 2020-70 here.
State of Emergency and Disaster Extended
Gov. Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-67, which extends the state of emergency for Michigan through May 28, 2020, under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945.
“The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic thus remain widespread and severe, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster,” Whitmer notes in the order.
“While the virus has afflicted some regions of the state more severely than others, the extent of the virus’s spread, coupled with its elusiveness and its ease of transmission, render the virus difficult to contain and threaten the entirety of this state.
“Although local health departments have some limited capacity to respond to cases as they arise within their jurisdiction, state emergency operations are necessary to bring this pandemic under control in Michigan and to build and maintain infrastructure to stop the spread of COVID-19, trace infections, and quickly direct additional resources to hotspots as they arise. State assistance to bolster health care capacity and flexibility also has been, and will continue to be, critical to saving lives, protecting public health and safety, and averting catastrophe.”
Under Executive Order 2020-68, “the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the Department of State Police must coordinate and maximize all state efforts that may be activated to state service to assist local governments and officials and may call upon all state departments to utilize available resources to assist.”