Governor Whitmer’s most recent Safe Start Order, Mich Exec Order No 2020-160, marks a tightening of restrictions in the face of rising COVID-19 case counts. Effective July 31, 2020, Mich Exec Order No 2020-160 rescinds a number of prior orders (Mich Exec Order Nos 2020-110, 115, 120, 133, and 143) and incorporates their provisions, making it a “comprehensive order governing the activities in Michigan that remain restricted on account of the pandemic.”
Highlights of this most recently amended order include the following:
- Any work that can be performed remotely must be performed remotely.
- Businesses requiring in-person work must comply with the workplace safeguards in Mich Exec Order No 2020-161, effective July 29, 2020.
- Individuals who leave their homes must follow CDC social distancing guidelines and Mich Exec Order No 2020-153 governing masks.
- Subject to a few exceptions, certain listed types of indoor theaters, gyms, and amusement facilities are closed everywhere except Regions 6 and 8 where there are specific requirements for their operation. Effective August 5, 2020, licensed casinos may open at 15% capacity, subject to workplace safeguards outlined in Mich Exec Order No 2020-161. The limitations on these types of establishments do not apply to outdoor fitness classes, services necessary for medical treatment, health care facilities, crisis shelters, airport food courts, or employees, contractors, vendors, or suppliers who occupy the types of places described.
- Bars that “earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages” must close for indoor service.
- Dance and topless activity permits issued under MCL 436.1916(2) and (3) are temporarily suspended, and combination dance-entertainment permits and topless activity-entertainment permits issued under MCL 436.1916(4) are “suspended to the extent they allow dancing and topless activity, but remain valid to the extent they allow other entertainment.”
- Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people.
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to 250 people in Regions 6 and 8, and 100 people everywhere else. In Regions 6 and 8, outdoor concert spaces, sports arenas, and other like outdoor venues can be open if they allow for social distancing and limit the number of people to 25% of maximum capacity or 500 people, whichever is smaller.
- Professional sports can continue without live audiences and in accordance with a COVID-19 safety plan.
- Outdoor parks and recreational facilities may be open as long as they make modifications to allow for social distancing and close areas where six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
- Public swimming pools may be open subject to certain restrictions, including 50% capacity limits for outdoor pools and 25% capacity limits for indoor pools in Regions 6 and 8.
- “[N]either a place of religious worship nor its owner is subject to penalty under … this order for engaging in religious worship at a place of religious worship.”