Governor Announces New MDHHS Order in Response to Surge in Coronavirus Cases

Posted on November 15, 2020 by Jennifer Rigterink

UPDATE: Webinar on this topic scheduled for noon Thursday, Nov. 19. Register here.

Governor Whitmer just gave an update on Michigan’s COVID-19 response. During the press conference it was announced MDHHS is issuing a three-week epidemic order that takes effect at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

While we continue to evaluate the impacts of this new order on local government and municipal service delivery, we advise you to work with your municipal attorney to answer specific questions.

Please take note of section #7 in the order—Face mask requirements at gatherings, part (c)—specifically referencing government offices.

“Except as provided elsewhere in this order, a person responsible for a business, store, office, government office, school, organized event, or other operation, or an agent of such person, must prohibit gatherings of any kind unless the person requires individuals in such gatherings (including employees) to wear a face mask, and denies entry or service to all persons refusing to wear face masks while gathered. “

The League will host a webinar (noon Thursday, Nov. 19) with attorneys specializing in municipal operations to help members respond to the order. The order has multiple parts and the Michigan Municipal League has asked legal experts from the Miller Canfield law firm to break it all down for our members. Please fill out this survey if you have any questions for the presenters. Go here for the event details.

Other restrictions in the order include:

  • A work from home order (unless impossible to do so);
  • Suspension of organized sports including high school athletics. College and professional sports may continue, but no spectators;
  • No dine-in service for restaurants and bars. Outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery may continue;
  • Restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings;
  • Personal services may continue by appointment only if you’re able to keep a mask on;
  • Gyms may remain open, but may not have group classes and must adhere to increased spacing restrictions;
  • Entertainment establishments are closed;
  • Retail limited to 30% of the total occupancy limits established by the State Fire Marshal; and
  • Universities and high schools must close for in-person classes.

The full order can be viewed here –> Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 – Gatherings and Face Mask Order and the State’s Coronavirus resource page here –>

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.


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