Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer just lifted the state’s shelter-in-place order, permitting certain businesses to reopen under a specified timetable and operate subject to specific workplace safety requirements. Meanwhile, a variety of businesses must remain closed for the time being. What do employers need to know about this next step toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Safety Requirements In Place For Reopening Businesses
According to the governor’s new order, all restaurants will be open for dine-in services as of June 8, as will bars, libraries, and museums. Further, retail stores will be permitted to open without appointments on June 4. Finally, offices have the green light to open their doors immediately. Outpatient health care facility requirements previously received clearance to open as of May 28.
However, all of these openings are contingent upon a specific set of safety criteria that must be carefully implemented. A detailed description of those safety measures can be found here, but an overview of the requirements is as follows:
- Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, consistent with recommendations in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, within two weeks of resuming in-person activities;
- Conduct a daily entry self-screening protocol for all individuals entering the workplace, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19;
- Keep everyone on the worksite premises at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible;
- Provide non-medical grade face coverings to their employees; and
- Establish a response plan for dealing with a confirmed infection in the workplace, including protocols for sending employees home and for temporary closures of all or part of the worksite to allow for deep cleaning.
Certain Businesses Must Remain Closed For Now
Despite the expansive reopening plans, there are still certain businesses that still must remain closed to members of the public:
- Indoor theaters and performance venues;
- Indoor fitness and athletic facilities;
- Non-essential personal care service establishments (salons, tanning, massage, etc.);
- Casinos and racetracks licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board; and
- Indoor/Outdoor amusement facilities (amusement parks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, etc.).