On April 9, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-42 (COVID-19) (available here), which extends her prior “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order (EO 2020-21) through April 30, 2020. The new Order rescinds and supersedes EO 2020-21, using much of the same language but adding several new restrictions. It also provides clarification regarding what businesses are considered a part of critical infrastructure, as well as who is exempt from the stay-at-home order. Like EO 2020-21, the new Order continues to prohibit all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.
Executive Order 2020-42 (COVID-19) continues many of the same rules for individuals, adding some clarification and new restrictions:
- Public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited and all non-essential workers are required to stay home until April 30. Though individuals are permitted to leave their homes to get groceries or essential supplies, the Order encourages people to limit the number of household members running errands to the maximum extent possible.
- Certain outside physical activities such as running, walking, hiking, kayaking, and canoeing continue to be permitted so long as participants are social distancing. However, using a motorboat, a jet ski, or other similar watercraft is not permitted.
- Individuals are prohibited from traveling between residences in the state, including travel to vacation rentals.
- The advertising or rental of a short-term rental property is prohibited except to the extent necessary to assist in housing a health care worker or volunteer aiding in the COVID-19 crisis.
Executive Order 2020-42 both revises existing restrictions and adds new restrictions affecting businesses in Michigan that are continuing some form of in-person operations. The following types of workers may now also be identified as “critical infrastructure workers”:
- Workers at retail stores who sell groceries, medical supplies, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences, including convenience stores, pet supply stores, auto supplies and repair stores, hardware and home maintenance stores, and home appliances retailers.
- Workers at laundromats, coin laundries, and dry cleaners.
- Workers at hotels and motels, provided that the hotels or motels do not offer additional in-house amenities such as gyms, pools, spas, dining, entertainment facilities, meeting rooms, or like facilities.
- Workers at motor vehicle dealerships who are necessary to facilitate remote and electronic sales or leases, or to deliver motor vehicles to customers, provided that showrooms remain closed to in-person traffic.
Significantly, the new Executive Order eliminates the ability of businesses to designate suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers as necessary to enable, support, or facilitate critical infrastructure work. Rather, suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers can now determine on their own whether they are necessary to enable, support, or facilitate another business’s or operation’s critical infrastructure work. The Order also clarifies that workers are not required to carry copies of their critical worker designations when traveling to and from work.
Any store permitted to remain open for in-person sales under the Executive Order must now adhere to the following:
- Establish lines with markings to regulate entry to enable patrons to stand at least six feet apart from one another while waiting.
- Consider curbside pick-up.
- For stores less than 50,000 square feet of customer floor space, limit the number of people in the store (including employees) to 25% of the total occupancy limits established by the fire inspector.
- For stores of more than 50,000 square feet:
- Limit the number of customers in the store at one time (excluding employees) to four people per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space.
- Close areas of the store—by blocking them off by appropriate means—that are dedicated to (i) carpet and flooring, (ii) furniture, (iii) garden centers and plant nurseries, and (iv) paint.
- By April 13, 2020, refrain from advertising goods that are not groceries, medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences.
- Create at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations, which include people over 60, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions.
Businesses, operations, and government agencies that continue in-person work must continue to follow proper social distancing practices. As revised by Executive Order 2020-42, these practices now include:
- Developing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan. The plan must be consistent with OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces (available here). Such plan must be available at the company headquarters or the worksite.
- Limiting the number of workers present on the premises to no more than is strictly necessary to perform critical infrastructure functions or its minimum basic operations.
- Promoting remote work to the fullest extent possible.
- Keeping workers and patrons who are on premises at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible.
- Increasing standards of facility cleaning to limit exposure to COVID-19, as well as adopting cleaning protocols in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.
- Adopting policies to prevent workers from coming to work if they display respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or fever) or have had contact with a person with COVID-19.
- Any other social distancing measures recommended by the CDC.
Penalties for violating the Order remain the same. A willful violation of the Order is a misdemeanor, which is punishable by 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
If you have any questions about the Order, please contact your Parmenter Law attorney or a member of our Business Law Team listed below:
Chris Kelly (231) 722-5414 firstname.lastname@example.org
Will Meier (231) 722-5409 email@example.com
Josh Reece (231) 722-5426 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Schrier (231) 722-5401 email@example.com
Ben Reider (231) 722-5418 firstname.lastname@example.org