MDHHS Issues Sweeping Emergency Coronavirus Order

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued sweeping new COVID-19 regulations Friday.

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon issued an emergency order limiting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces and childcare facilities, placing capacity limitations on stores, bars and other public venues and providing for safer workplaces.

The order takes effect immediately and remains in effect until Oct. 30.

Under the new MDHHS order:

–        Masks must be worn at any gatherings occurring at businesses, offices, schools, childcare facilities, sporting events and other non-residential events.

  1. Businesses cannot admit individuals who do not wear a face covering, and there are few exceptions.
  2. 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.

  1. Except in Region 6 (Traverse City regeion), a gathering at a retail store, library or museum may not exceed 50% of total occupancy limit established by state or local fire marshal.
  2. Gatherings at recreational sports and exercise facilities are prohibited if they exceed 25% 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.
  3. Gatherings at non-tribal casinos may not exceed 15% of total occupancy limits established by state or local fire marshal.
  4. Food service establishments may not exceed 50% of normal seating capacity.
  5. Capacity limits also apply to outdoor gatherings but are less strict.
  6. Restaurants and bars have capacity limits for gatherings and may only serve alcohol to parties who are seated, six feet apart, and remain separate.
  7. Organized sports require face coverings and have gathering limits.
  8. Individuals who are in isolation or quarantine because of COVID-19 exposure, symptoms, or test results cannot go to work with others, and employers cannot require them to come to work in person with anyone else present.

Sports and entertainment facilities and places of public amusement must maintain records of the names, contact information, date and time of entry of all visitors in order to help with contact tracing.

Those who violate this order could face 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.

To read the full emergency order, click here.

Categories: Coronavirus