24 April 2020

Governor Whitmer Extends Stay Home, Stay Safe Order Through May 15, Permitting Some In-Person Business Operations to Resume

***Information and guidance in client updates was up to date at time of publication. During the pandemic, information and guidance has been changing rapidly. If you have any questions about the information contained in a client update, please contact the author(s) or your Miller Johnson attorney.***

On April 24, 2020, Governor Whitmer ordered an extension to Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order through May 15, 2020. The extended order is effective immediately.  Starting today, landscapers, lawn-care services, and nurseries can resume operations, while any business can permit remote sales of non-essential goods through delivery or curbside pick-up.  The extended order also lifts restrictions on golf, motorized boating, and travel between two in-state residences.

In-Person Operations Permitted for Landscaping and for Processing Orders for Delivery or Curbside Pickup

The order permits the following in-person business operations to resume:

  • Workers who process or fulfill remote orders for goods for delivery or curbside pick-up.
  • Workers for garden stores, nurseries, and lawn care, pest control, and landscaping operations.
  • Maintenance workers and groundskeepers who are necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of places of outdoor recreation, provided that their workers do not provide goods, equipment, supplies, or services to individuals.
  • Workers for moving or storage operations.

If a business does not sell “essential” supplies, its physical premises must remain closed to the public, but it may sell any goods through remote sales via delivery or at the curbside.

All business operations that are permitted to resume work must designate in writing their workers who are necessary to perform the resumed operations. The business must adopt a COVID-19 response plan, as outlined in the executive order, and take additional protective measures, including limiting in-person interaction at the worksite, providing personal protective equipment as appropriate, and limiting the sharing of tools and equipment to the maximum extent possible.

Starting on April 27, businesses must provide non-medical grade face coverings to any workers performing in-person work.

Critical Infrastructure Categories Remain the Same, But the Governor Requests Input for Safe Resumption of Operations Such As Outdoor Construction

The extended order includes the same categories of “critical infrastructure workers” that were identified in the previous executive order, with only minimal adjustments. Like the previous order, the extended order does not incorporate any updated CISA guidance, which expands those categories. As before, operations that are necessary to support other critical infrastructure operations may conduct in-person operations.

In today’s press conference, Governor Whitmer specifically welcomed input from employers and businesses to explain how their operations may be conducted safely to minimize potential for person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Certain industries—such as construction firms—may be able to demonstrate that their operations, like the operations of landscapers, may be conducted safely.

Miller Johnson has worked extensively with multiple industries—including businesses in the nursery, greenhouse, and landscaping industries, which obtained permission to resume operations effective immediately—to explain how their operations may be conducted safely. Please contact your Miller Johnson attorney to further explore the options for communicating to the Governor your business’s ability to safely resume operations.

Masks Required In Public; Restrictions on Large Retail Stores Relaxed

The executive order also requires all individuals to wear face coverings when in enclosed public spaces. The order, however, provides that there is no penalty for failure to comply with this requirement.

The executive order permits travel between residences in Michigan, but continues to prohibit travel to vacation rentals. The order also eliminates prior restrictions on large retail stores that formerly prohibited them from selling and advertising certain flooring, paint, and garden products.

Miller Johnson will address the details of the extended order in greater depth in upcoming webinars and client updates.

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Miller Johnson has counseled many businesses and sole proprietors on compliance with Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order.  We are also staying apprised of the stay-at-home orders issued in other states and counties around the country.  We are ready to efficiently and promptly analyze whether your business is exempt from these orders and may continue to operate, and, if so, provide you with the necessary documents to continue to operate.  Please contact your Miller Johnson attorney with any questions.