COVID-19

Governor issues mask order

Governor Whitmer today issued an executive order that requires individuals to wear masks when are indoors in any public space and when they are outdoors and unable to maintain social distancing of six feet. That requirement is effective immediately. The order requires businesses to enforce the mask requirement starting Monday at midnight. At a news conference, the governor said, “I feel for businesses that are doing all the right things…these businesses are also asking for tougher rules so that they can point to it and say this is the law. Right now it’s required and for some reason people don’t seem to know that.” She hinted that more mask requirements may be coming. The full text of the order is here<wvbi.biccenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EO-2020-147-Emerg-order-Masks.pdf>. Kids under 5 are exempt and masks are not required while eating, conducting religious services, or making a speech for broadcast or an audience among other exceptions. The fine for failure to comply is $500. Businesses that fail to comply could be ordered closed and have licenses suspended.
The Michigan Retailers Association has objected to putting the onus of enforcement on businesses and penalizing them for the misconduct of customers. They ask what happens when a customer refuses to comply and refuses to leave.
The order comes as concern grows over rising new case rates, especially downstate in Michigan. Death rates have remained largely unchanged statewide.