Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new executive order to extend Michigan's Stay Home, Stay Safe order until May 28. The new order will also allow manufacturing, including the Big 3 automakers, to resume work on Monday May 11.
“This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” said Governor Whitmer in a news release. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly. As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19. When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”
Under the order, manufacturing facilities must adopt safety measure to protect workers from spreading COVID-19. According to the state:
That includes conducting a daily entry screening protocol for workers and everyone else entering the facility, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with a temperature screening as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained. They must also create dedicated entry points at every facility, and suspend entry of all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.
Manufacturing facilities must also train workers on, among other things, how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or suspected or confirmed diagnosis, and the use of personal protective equipment.
All businesses in the state—including manufacturers—must require masks to be worn when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from others, and consider face shields for those who cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other workers.
Read the executive order below:
The press conference comes on the same day that construction and real-estate services resumed in the state.
The UAW responded to the announcement with the following statement from President Rory Gamble:
Throughout this worldwide crisis, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been a leading voice to make sure that scientific data and the health and safety of all Michiganders was the priority in managing pandemic decisions.
Governor Whitmer has at all times been inclusive and focused on building consensus to do what is right for the health and safety of UAW members and all of Michigan’s working men and women.
The UAW will continue to have dialogue and aggressively pursue all avenues over the health and safety of our members, their families and their communities as we cautiously go into our next phase of battling this pandemic while worksites reopen.
The governor also announced the six phases of her MI Safe Start Plan. They are:
1) UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems.
2) PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity.
3) FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health-system's capacity is sufficient for current needs.
4) IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining.
5) CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained.
6) POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return.
On Thursday, Whitmer signed an executive order that extends and adds to the current order expanding eligibility for unemployment benefits in the state.
The new executive order will expedite benefits for tens of thousands of residents who filed for unemployment, Whitmer's office said. Executive Order 2020-76 will allow the state to review only an individual's most recent job loss to determine their benefit entitlement.
It also comes a day after Michigan Republicans filed a lawsuit against Whitmer over her executive powers .
"We’ve attempted to partner with our governor, but she’s rejected. We offered cooperation, but instead she chose court," Chatfield said in a tweet. "This was avoidable, but today we filed a lawsuit in our state to challenge her unconstitutional actions. The law in Michigan is clear, and nobody is above it."
Whitmer's press secretary released this statement to 7 Action News:
“This lawsuit is just another partisan game that won’t distract the governor. Her number one priority is saving lives. She’s making decisions based on science and data, not political or legal pressure. She has brought together leaders in health care, business, labor, and education to develop the MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy in a way the protects our workers and their families. Moving forward, the governor will continue to listen to medical experts and put the health and safety of Michiganders first.”
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
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