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Updated "Stay-at-Home" Order: Executive Order 2020-59

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Laura J. Genovich and Cody A. Mott
Foster Swift Legal Update E-blast
April 24, 2020

Coronavirus MichiganAs expected, Governor Whitmer’s newest order, Executive Order 2020-59 (“EO 2020-59”), extends Michigan’s “stay-at-home” order until May 15, 2020. EO 2020-59 has loosened some restrictions on individuals and allows certain workers to resume business activities. It also requires businesses and operations with in-person workers to have a COVID-19 preparedness plan and to provide face coverings to their in-person workers.

Exceptions to Allow Workers to Perform Resumed Activities

The most substantive change in EO 2020-59 is for businesses that do not sell necessary supplies. Such businesses may resume activities to process or fulfill remote orders of goods for delivery or curbside pick-up. In other words, any business that sells goods may bring back workers to facilitate online or telephone orders for delivery or curbside pick-up.

Businesses that sell essential goods may also sell non-essential goods if they sell such goods in their ordinary course of business. This means big box stores are no longer required to rope off areas that sell carpet or flooring, furniture, garden centers and plant nurseries, or paint.

EO 2020-59 also allows the following businesses to resume in-person work (subject to enhanced social distancing requirements):

  • Workers who perform bicycle maintenance or repair;
  • Workers for garden stores, nurseries, lawn care, pest control, and landscaping;
  • Maintenance workers and groundskeepers necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of outdoor recreation areas that are open; and
  • Workers for moving or storage operations.

Guidelines for Operating

Every business performing in-person work must (1) develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, and (2) provide non-medical grade face coverings for its workers.

A COVID-19 preparedness and response plan requires different provisions depending on whether the workplace is considered low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk, and it should include:

  • Steps to reduce worker exposure to COVID-19;
  • Procedures for the identification and isolation of potentially infectious persons;
  • Information to help employees self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Policies and procedures for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • Other steps to limit the spread of respiratory secretions.

Each business should also provide gloves, goggles, face shields, and face masks as appropriate. Business should also adopt protocols to limit the sharing of equipment, to ensure frequent cleaning of surfaces, and to limit in-person interaction to the extent possible.

Please contact your Foster Swift attorney for help developing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan if you have any workers reporting in-person (including workers for minimum basic operations or necessary governmental activities).

Definition of Critical Infrastructure Workers Remains Unchanged

The Governor has again declined to adopt the updated Guidance on the Essential Critical Workforce published by the Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (the “CISA Guidance”). As a result, any businesses (including construction) that were prohibited from operating in-person by the first stay-at-home order remain prohibited from operating in-person unless the business is facilitating remote orders for pick-up or delivery.

Exceptions for Individuals

EO 2020-59 removes some of the previous restrictions on travel within the state. Specifically, individuals may travel between residences, including moving to a new residence or traveling to a second home, such as a vacation home or cottage. Vacation rentals remain prohibited. It also expands the number of recreational activities available to Michigan residents, including motor boating, golfing, and similar activities. Individuals must still remain at least six feet from people that are not members of their household and each person must wear a face covering (such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief) when in any enclosed public space, such as grocery stores.

Please contact your Foster Swift attorney if you have any questions regarding Executive Order 2020-59 or if your business or operation has not yet adopted a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.

This article is current as of time of publication. Due to rapidly changing circumstances and updated regulations, we encourage you to confirm with your attorney and/or other advisors to make sure you are operating with the most current information.