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April 27 2020

Governor Whitmer Extends Stay-at-Home Order Through May 15

By: Nikole L. Canute and Regina M. Gilmour

Late last week, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-59 (“EO 2020-59” or “the Order”), replacing EO 2020-42, which was set to expire at the end of April.  EO 2020-59 extends the stay-at-home mandate until 11:59 pm on May 15th, but also permits certain businesses, such as garden centers, nurseries, and bike repair shops, to resume business.  Most of the Order, with the exception of  Section 15, takes effect immediately. 

Resumed Businesses

 Under Section 10 of EO 2020-59, workers for certain types of businesses are permitted to resume activities.  This includes workers who (a) process or fulfill remote orders for goods for delivery or curbside pick-up, (b) perform bicycle maintenance or repair, (c) work for garden stores, nurseries and lawn care, pest control, and landscaping operations, (d) are maintenance workers and groundskeepers necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of outdoor recreation spaces not otherwise closed, and (d) workers for moving or storage operations. 

The latter three categories of permissible resumed activities are subject to the following additional restrictions/requirements, found at Section 11(h) of EO 2020-59:

  • Gatherings of any size in which people cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another are prohibited.
  • In-person interactions with clients and patrons are limited to the maximum extent possible, and any interaction in which people cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another are barred.
  • Personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face masks must be provided as appropriate for the activity being performed.
  • Protocols must be adopted to limit the sharing of tools and equipment to the maximum extent possible and to ensure frequent and thorough cleaning of tools, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces.  

 Relaxed Restrictions

 EO 2020-59 also relaxes certain restrictions present in the previous stay-at-home order.  Golfing and boating (including boating with a motor) is now permitted so long as social-distancing guidelines are followed.  Individuals may now travel between in-state residences, so they can travel to their vacation homes.  Additionally, big-box stores are no longer required to block off areas containing non-necessary supplies.  That is, stores that remain open to sell goods such as groceries, medical supplies, and items to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences may continue to sell goods other than these “necessary supplies” so long as they normally sell these goods.  Finally, under the Order, stores selling “non-necessary” goods are now permitted to sell their goods via delivery or at curbside, so long as the store otherwise remains closed to the public.

Additional Restrictions

 Section 15 of the Order states that effective April 26, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., people must begin wearing face coverings over the nose and mouth—such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space, if they can medically tolerate it.  In addition, all businesses and operations whose workers perform in-person work must, at a minimum, provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers.   The Order also notes that supplies of N95 masks and surgical masks should generally be reserved, for now, for health care professionals, first responders (e.g., police officers, firefighters, paramedics), and other critical workers who interact with the public.  Notably, in her press conference, Governor Whitmer noted that there will be no fine or criminal penalty for people not wearing face coverings in public.

 For questions, concerns, or guidance regarding EO 2020-59, contact Nikole Canute, Scott Dwyer, or Nate Wolf