New COVID-19 Orders Place Additional Requirements and Restrictions on Michigan Businesses | Miller Canfield

In light of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Michigan, government agencies responsible for workplace safety and public health have issued several guidelines and guidance for employers and businesses in the hope to curb the spread of the virus.

MDHHS November 15, 2020 Emergency order

On November 15, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released the latest Gathering and ordering masks, which significantly tightened the restriction on gatherings. The order comes into effect on November 18, 2020, and remains in effect until December 8, 2020. In summary, this order:

  • Prohibits indoor gatherings in non-residential locations and tightens limits on indoor gatherings in residential locations (to no more than 10 people from no more than 2 households), outdoor gatherings in residential locations (to no more than 25 people from no more than 3 households) and outdoor gatherings in non-residential places (to no more than 25 people with specific attendance limits for places with and without fixed seats).
    • “Household” is defined as a group of people living together in a shared accommodation with a shared kitchen or bathroom or individuals who share a bedroom in accommodation with a shared kitchen or bathroom occupied by 20 or more people. unrelated.
    • Limited exceptions to indoor and outdoor assembly restrictions are provided for:
      • Occasional and temporary gatherings of people in a shared public space,
      • Meetings between an employee and a client for the purpose of receiving services;
      • Meetings at the workplace in accordance with MIOSHA emergency rules of October 14, 2020;
      • Activities related to voting or official elections;
      • Training of law enforcement, correctional, medical or first responder staff, as these activities cannot be conducted remotely;
      • Education and support services in public, non-public and boarding schools serving students in Kindergarten to Grade 8;
      • Children in a childcare organization or in a camp;
      • People traveling by school bus or other public transport;
      • Gatherings for the purpose of medical treatment, including mental health and substance use disorder support services;
      • Gatherings of up to 25 people for a funeral; and
      • Residential care facilities;
    • Prohibits indoor gatherings in most food service establishments and requires outdoor gatherings to maintain a distance of 6 feet.
    • Prohibits most gatherings in schools for Grades 9 to 12 students and gatherings in colleges and universities for teaching, activities and in-person events.
    • Imposes additional restrictions on gatherings in other types of facilities, including places of entertainment, recreational facilities and places of public entertainment, retail stores, libraries, museums, exercise halls, ambulatory care facilities, veterinary clinics, swimming pools and non-essential health care providers.
    • Requires all people attending gatherings to wear face masks (subject to specified exceptions), as opposed to strongly encouraging masks as in previous orders. “Face mask” means a tightly woven fabric or other multi-layered absorbent material that tightly covers the mouth and nose of an individual.
    • Continues to require certain businesses and operations to collect customer and customer data for contract tracking, but adds additional requirements on the retention, use, dissemination and disposal of collected data.

MIOSHA COVID-19 Emergency Rules and Additional Remote Work Requirements Clarifications

On October 14, 2020, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued Emergency rules for coronavirus disease 2019, which are in effect for six months and set requirements for employers to control, prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These requirements mirror those set out in the Governor’s Safe Start Orders that were invalidated by recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling. Among other things, employers are required to:

  • Classify professional tasks and procedures into low, medium, high and very high exposure risks;
  • Create written COVID-19 preparedness and response plans consistent with OSHA and CDC guidelines, including measures to prevent employee exposure based on occupational hazard categorization;
  • Implement infection prevention measures, in particular prohibiting work in person insofar as professional activities can be carried out remotely;
  • Screen all employees and contractors before entering the workplace and comply with notification procedures if a positive case of COVID-19 is known;
  • Implement workplace controls, including designating one or more COVID-19 safety coordinators on site at all times when employees are present to implement, monitor and report control strategies COVID-19, masking requirements and display of practices related to COVID-19;
  • Provide employees with the necessary personal protective equipment, including respirators if necessary, when appropriate to the risk of exposure associated with the work;
  • Comply with guidelines for specific industries including construction, manufacturing, retail, libraries and museums, restaurants and bars, healthcare, home care, personal care services, public accommodation, sports and exercise facilities, meat and poultry processing and casinos;
  • Train all employees on COVID-19 infection control practices, the proper use of personal protective equipment, reporting of symptoms or positive diagnoses of COVID-19, and reporting unsafe working conditions; and
  • Keep a record of training, testing protocols and notifications required.

On November 4, 2020, MIOSHA issued a Provisional execution plan establish procedures for the agency to investigate and issue citations for workplace hazards related to COVID-19. The tentative plan states that an employer’s failure to implement a remote work policy would be viewed by MIOSHA as a “serious” violation, and the lack of existence of a policy would be cited as a “violation”. other than serious ”of October 14, Emergency Rules 2020.

On November 6, 2020, the MDHHS issued a directive titled “Keeping a safe workplace“, which reinforced the remote work requirement established by the MIOSHA emergency of October 14. In addition, the guidelines provide clarification regarding the requirement for employers to prohibit face-to-face work as long as the activities work can be performed remotely. Under these guidelines, “employers should only allow in-person work when presence is strictly required to perform tasks”, meaning that “a worker is unable to perform physically required tasks from a remote environment. “- Person works to limit the inefficiency, unproductivity or costs associated with remote work.

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