CBS Detroit – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a new epidemic order mandating mask use and seating capacity limits on venues back to previous levels before the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision nullified Governor Whitmer’s orders past April 30. The five-page order signed by MDHHS director Robert Gordon, cited the agency’s authority under Michigan law, (to) “prevent disease, prolong life, and promote public health,” and gives the Department “general supervision of the interests of health and life of people of this state.”

The order further states the MDHHS director “determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws. Emergency procedures shall not be limited to this code.”

Under the new order released on Monday, indoor gatherings at a residence or non-residential venue are restricted to 10 persons. Places with fixed seating have 20% occupancy based on the total number of seats. With Region 6 allowing 25% capacity under executive order 2020-176. If a venue doesn’t have fixed seating, attendance is limited to 20 people per every 1,000 sq. ft. in each room. Region 6 is allowed 25 persons per 1,000 sq.ft. on that quota. In all non-residential gatherings, the order states people must wear face coverings.

For outdoor gatherings, the MDHHS placed limits of 100 people with masks again being mandatory for non-residential venues and optional for residential. In outdoor gatherings of 100 to 1,000 people, venues with fixed seating capacity limit attendance to 30%, or in places without fixed seating, attendance is limited to 30 people for every 1,000 sq. ft. Voting and election activities are exempt from the gatherings. Organizers and venues hosting events in public venues are required to ensure people maintain social distancing.

With the exception of Region 6, this order says that people must wear face coverings, and that business cannot just assume someone is excused from wearing a mask if they are not wearing one. It is on the individual to say so if they fall under the allowed exceptions. With the new order, “Neither a place of religious worship nor its owner is subject to penalty under this order for allowing religious worship at such place. No individual is subject to penalty under of this order for engaging in religious worship at a place of religious worship.”

Violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine fo $200 plus a civil fine of $1,000. According to WOOD-TV8, bars must close indoor areas and organized sports are still required to wear face masks.


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