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Stay-at-Home Order Lifted: Many Businesses to Reopen Subject to Restrictions

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Laura J. Genovich and Cody A. Mott
Foster Swift Legal Update E-blast
June 1, 2020

Bar-RestaurantGovernor Whitmer announced today that she is lifting the “stay-at-home” order that has been in place for more than 10 weeks. The stay-at-home order no longer prohibits in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life. Instead, Executive Order 2020-110 (“EO 2020-110”) broadly permits all activities not specifically closed by the order. Only activities that present a heightened risk of infection remain prohibited.

The phased approach paves the way for a return to a sense of normalcy for the summer and permits different activities to resume on different dates over the next week.

Executive Order 2020-97 remains in effect and requires that certain workplace safeguards be observed. This includes developing and implementing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan within two weeks of reopening. Please contact your Foster Swift attorney today if you need help drafting your plan.

Effective Immediately –Outdoor Activities and Offices

Effective immediately, the stay-at-home order is lifted. Outdoor gatherings of up to 100 individuals are allowed, provided individuals remain six feet away from each other. Indoor social gatherings with persons that are not part of your household remain limited to 10 people.

Outdoor parks and recreational facilities may open. This includes outdoor activities performed by gyms and fitness centers; however, gym facilities must remain closed.

In addition to outdoor activities, offices may reopen immediately. However, any work that is capable of being performed remotely must be performed remotely. Offices must implement the following social distancing safeguards and steps:

Upon Employee Arrival

Employers who operate in office buildings must:

  • Assign dedicated entry points for employees to reduce congestion at one entrance.
  • Provide visual indicators like tape markings to show appropriate spacing for employees outside the building in case of congestion.
  • Reduce entry congestion created by the screening process by staggering start times, adopting a rotational schedule, or other appropriate steps.

In the Workplace

Once in the workplace, offices must:

  • Require face coverings in shared spaces, such as hallways, meeting rooms, and bathrooms.
  • Spread out workspaces to increase distance between employees.
  • Restrict non-essential spaces like cafeterias.
  • Provide cues to guide movement and activity. For instance, use visual cues to restrict elevator capacity and lock conference rooms to prevent in-person meetings.
  • Turn off water fountains.
  • Prohibit social gatherings and meetings that do not allow for social distancing.
  • Restrict non-essential travel and in-person conference events.
  • Suspend non-essential visitors.
  • Institute cleaning and communication protocols if an employee is sent home with symptoms.
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces and minimize shared items when possible.

Required Notifications and Supplies

Offices must also provide certain notifications and supplies. This requires offices to:

  • Post signs about the importance of personal hygiene.
  • Notify employees if an individual, including a worker, customer, supplier, or visitor, with a confirmed case of COVID-19 visited the office.
  • Provide disinfecting supplies and require employees to wipe down their work stations at least twice daily.

June 4 – Retail Stores

Retail store may resume operations without appointments on Thursday, June 4. This does not include non-essential personal services, such as hair salons. Retail stores are subject to the safeguards listed in Executive Order 2020-97, summarized here:

Safety Precautions

  • Adhere to size restrictions for the number of people in the store (including employees) based on size of customer floor space.
    • Stores with less than 50,000 square feet – 25% of occupancy;
    • Stores with more than 50,000 square feet – limit of 4 people per 1,000 square feet of customer space and create at least 2 hours each week of shopping time for vulnerable people.
  • Establish lines to regulate entry. Use markings to keep customers at least 6 feet apart while waiting in line. Alternatively, have customers wait in their cars and text or call them when they may enter the store.
  • Install physical barriers at checkout and other service points. This includes Plexiglass barriers, tape markers, and tables, as appropriate.
  • Design spaces in the store to encourage employees and customers to remain 6 feet apart.
  • Establish enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high touch areas.
  • Limit the number of staff to the minimum amount necessary to operate.

Customer Notifications

  • Create communications that inform customers of changes to store practices and explains the precautions being taken.
  • Post signs at the entrance instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering.
  • Post signs informing customers to not enter if they are or recently have been sick.

Employee Training and Notifications

  • Train employees on appropriate cleaning procedures.
  • Train employees on how to manage symptomatic customers that may be in or enter the store.
  • Notify employees if an individual, such as an employee, customer, or suppliers, with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has visited the store.

June 8 – Bars, Restaurants, and Summer Staples

Public swimming pools may open on June 8 – just in time for summer. The pools must be outdoors and are limited to 50% capacity. Similarly, day camps may also open, but are subject to guidance to be issued by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

Libraries and museums may once again open their doors on June 8, but must do so in compliance with the safeguards governing retail stores listed in Executive Order 2020-97 and summarized above.

Bars, restaurants, and other dine-in facilities in regions other than regions 6 and 8 (which opened two weeks ago) may allow patrons to dine-in beginning on June 8. They must observe the following restrictions and worker safeguards:

Safety Precautions

  • Require 6 feet of separation between parties;
  • Close waiting areas and ask customers to remain in their cars until their table is ready;
  • Use physical guides like tape and signage to keep customers 6 feet apart;
  • Install physical barriers at cash registers, bars, host stands, and other areas where it is difficult to remain 6 feet apart
  • Limit shared items like menus and clean high-contact areas, such as tables and chairs; and
  • Close self-serve food and drink options.

Customer Notifications

  • Use signs or pamphlets to inform customers of changes and extra precautions;
  • Post signs asking customers to not enter if they are or have recently been sick;
  • Instruct customers to wear face coverings until they are seated;

Employee Training and Notification; Employer Duties

  • Require hosts and servers to wear face coverings; require other employees to wear face coverings and gloves when in the kitchen area;
  • Train employees on appropriate use of personal protection equipment in conjunction with food safety guidelines
  • Train employees on food safety health protocols;
  • Train employees how to manage symptomatic customers;
  • Notify employees if an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 has visited the store;
  • Close the restaurant for deep cleaning if an employee shows symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Limit the number of employees in a shared space to the maximum distance possible.

Places That Remain Closed

The following places remain closed to the public:

  • Indoor theaters, cinemas, and performance venues.
  • Non-essential personal care services which require close contact of persons, such as hair, nail, tanning, massage, spa, tattoo, body art, and piercing services.
  • Casinos and racetracks licensed by Michigan.
  • Indoor or outdoor places of public amusement, such as amusement parks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, and the like.

Foster Swift’s attorneys are ready to help you with any questions you have regarding this communication or how to safely reopen your business. Please contact your Foster Swift attorney or one of the coronavirus coordinators listed below:

While this article is current at time of publication, due to rapidly changing circumstances and updated regulations, we encourage you to confirm with your attorney and/or advisor to make sure you are operating with the most current information.