Michigan Extends and Revises its Restrictions on Gatherings and Face Masks

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Due to the increase of COVID-19 cases and related deaths in Michigan over the last four weeks, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an October 29, 2020 Epidemic Order extending and revising its previous order issued on October 9, 2020. In support of its orders, MDHHS notes that the over the past four weeks the COVID-19 positivity rate has increased from 2% to 5.5%, hospitalizations have doubled over the past three weeks, and the state death rate has increased for five consecutive weeks. It further identifies delays between exposure and onset of symptoms as a reason for the increase in cases.

The new order includes the following changes:

  • Indoor venue gatherings without fixed seating, such as weddings, are limited from the previously allowed 500 people to 50 people (not exceeding 20 people per 1,000 square feet).
  • Food establishments are now prohibited from seating more than six people together at a table. In addition, food establishments must maintain accurate records of the names and phone numbers of patrons who dine-in, including the date and time of the entry.
  • Region 61 is now in tune with the rest of the state, as the new order extends to this region.

The order is effective immediately, with the exception of contact tracing for food establishments, which does not take effect until November 2, 2020. As Michigan heads into cold and flu season and the holidays, we anticipate the MDHHS to continue to issue additional and stricter restrictions.

 

Footnote

​1 Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa Counties.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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