Businesses must require customers to wear masks
Fri, 07/10/2020 - 2:13pm caleb
Executive Order 2020-147 extends previous face covering requirements to ‘crowded outdoor spaces’
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Without a vaccine, without a cure, a mask is the safest way to protect yourself from the spread of COVID-19, to protect your family from the spread of (COVID-19), to protect your neighbors and co-workers, and protect our economy from another step backwards. To increase the odds that we’re back in school this is the most important thing we can do is mask up, wash our hands, and not congregate in big groups.” – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Michigan, added more mask-wearing regulations for people in the state with the signing of Executive Order 2020-147 on Friday, July 10.
“Our progress in suppressing COVID-19 appears to have stalled. Over the past two weeks, every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new cases, and daily case counts now exceed 20 cases per million in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Lansing regions. Research confirms that a big part of the reason is spotty compliance with my requirement, issued in prior orders, that individuals wear face coverings in public spaces,” according to Executive Order 2020-147.
“Without a vaccine, without a cure, a mask is the safest way to protect yourself from the spread of COVID-19, to protect your family from the spread of (COVID-19), to protect your neighbors and co-workers, and protect our economy from another step backwards,” Governor Whitmer said during a televised update to the state on Thursday, July 9. “To increase the odds that we’re back in school this is the most important thing we can do is mask up, wash our hands, and not congregate in big groups.”
Governor Whitmer said the state has traced coronavirus outbreaks to a variety of businesses and large gatherings, and the evidence posted on social media sites and broadcast on television of people congregating in large groups without masks during the recent Fourth of July holiday weekend is concerning to state officials.
“Over the past week we have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Michigan and over the holiday weekend we saw countless Michiganders gather in large groups to celebrate Fourth of July without a mask,” Governor Whitmer said.
The new order adds a requirement that people must wear masks in “crowded outdoor spaces.”
According to Executive Order 2020-147, “Any individual who leaves their home or place of residence must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth: When in any indoor public space; When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; When waiting for or riding on public transportation, while in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle, or when using a private car service as a means of hired transportation.”
Executive Order 2020-147 lists a few exceptions.
“The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to individuals who: Are younger than five years old; Cannot medically tolerate a face covering; Are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment; Are exercising when wearing a face covering would interfere in the activity; Are receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service; Are entering a business or are receiving a service and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes; Are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication; Are actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel; Are officiating at a religious service; or Are giving a speech for broadcast or an audience,” according to Executive Order 2020-147.
Executive Order 2020-147 “requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering.” This is a step above the requirements in Executive Order 2020-115, which said businesses were “permitted to deny entry or access to any individual who refuses to comply with the rule.”
“To protect workers, shoppers, and the community, no business that is open to the public may provide service to a customer or allow a customer to enter its premises, unless the customer is wearing a face covering as required by this order,” according to Executive Order 2020-147.
The order says that businesses “must post signs at entrance(s) instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside,” and it establishes possible penalties for businesses that do not require people to wear masks.
“A department or agency that learns that a licensee is in violation of this section will consider whether the public health, safety or welfare requires summary, temporary suspension of the business’s license to operate,” according to Executive Order 2020-147.
The requirements in Executive Order 2020-147 apply to individuals immediately. For businesses, the “order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 13.”
“If we’re going to get our kids back to school in eight weeks we’ve got to at least stay in Phase 4 if not move into Phase 5 and on the trajectory we’re on it’s very much in question,” Governor Whitmer said.
The state recently released its MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap, which – along with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-142 – outlines requirements and recommendations for school districts as they create their plans for returning to in-person learning. The governor closed Michigan’s schools in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Return to School Roadmap, districts under Phase 4 regulations can resume in-person education with stringent restrictions, and districts under Phase 5 can conduct in-person learning with some restrictions. If any regions fall back into Phase 1, 2, or 3, districts in those areas would have to close in-person sessions and conduct remote methods of schooling.
“Right now the trend of where we’re headed is concerning. If we want to be in a position in eight weeks from now where we can get our kids back into in-person education this trend can’t continue and that’s why masking up is going to be so important,” Governor Whitmer said. “We’ve got to get the politics out of this conversation and just do what we know to be the right thing.”
“Wearing a mask is an effective and low-cost way to protect ourselves and our families from a deadly disease. It should be – and is – the responsibility of every Michigander,” according to Executive Order 2020-147.