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May 14 2021

Changes to Face Covering Requirement on the Horizon

By: Michael J. Huff

Governor Whitmer indicated this morning that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (“MDHHS”) will be revising the Gatherings and Face Mask Order effective Saturday, May 15 at 9:00 a.m. to provide that vaccinated Michiganders no longer need to wear a mask except where otherwise required.  As of the time of this Client Alert, a revised order has not yet been published by MDHHS.

Notably, the press release announcing relaxation of the face covering requirement indicates that masks and physical distancing are still mandatory where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.  Presently, emergency rules issued by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“MIOSHA”) which remain in effect until October 14, 2021, include various workplace controls which employers must follow, including that employers must require face coverings in shared spaces, including during in-person meetings and in restrooms and hallways.  Under the MIOSHA rules, retail stores, libraries, museums, gyms, exercise facilities, casinos and other facilities are currently required to cause patrons to wear a face covering.  Similarly, restaurants and bars are currently required to require patrons to wear a face covering except when seated at their table or bar and to require hosts, servers, and staff to wear face coverings in the dining area and other areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.  Thus, employers may need to continue to require masks in certain circumstances unless the MIOSHA rules are also amended in connection with the amendment of the Gatherings and Face Mask Order.

Contact your Mika Meyers’ attorney with any questions.