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Michigan - COVID-19 Face Mask Order and Business Requirements

On November 15, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Director released an emergency order that businesses, stores, and offices (businesses) must generally prohibit gatherings, including employee gatherings, with the following workplace-related exceptions:

  • Gatherings between an employee and a customer to receive services are permitted; and
  • Workplace gatherings consistent with the Emergency Rules issued by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration on October 14, 2020, which requires employers to lower COVID-19 exposure risk, implement safety and infection prevention procedures, develop and implement a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, conduct daily entry health surveillance of anyone entering the workplace, implement workplace controls, distribute PPE, and along with compliance with industry specific requirements.

The order also mandates social distancing in any gathering and face masks be worn. All persons refusing to wear face masks while gathered may be denied entry or service to a business. However, a face mask is not required:

  • For those who cannot medically tolerate a face mask;
  • When someone is asked to temporarily remove their face mask for identification purposes; and
  • When communicating with someone who is deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing and whose ability to see the mouth is essential.

Businesses may not assume that someone who enters their facility without a face mask falls within one of these exceptions, including the exception for individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face mask. An individual’s verbal statement that they are not wearing a face mask because they fall within a specified exception may be accepted. The order also lists mandatory closures, gathering restrictions, and capacity limitations.

The order is effective November 18, 2020 and remains in effect until December 8, 2020.