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Published 5/3/2020
3:04am

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Safety Measures Protecting Consumers, Employees

Executive order also extends temporary licensing relief for grocery stores and pharmacies

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-71, which extends existing safety measures to protect consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies until May 29, 2020. The order also extends temporary relief from licensing requirements for food sellers and pharmacies.

The executive order extends to May 29 conditions in Executive Order 2020-60, which established the following health and safety guidelines:  

• Customers who can medically tolerate a face covering must wear one when entering a grocery store or pharmacy.
• Grocery stores and pharmacies must allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations.
• If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the business must notify other employees without infringing on private health information.

“We must continue protecting the health and safety of both consumers and employees at our grocery stores and pharmacies, which we rely on more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis,” Governor Whitmer said. “Michigan has begun flattening the COVID-19 curve, but we must not take our progress for granted and continue taking aggressive action to avoid further spread of this deadly disease.”

Food sellers must also continue doing the following:

• Require checkout employees to wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth.
• Ensure both employees and customers remain at least 6 feet apart.
• Close self-serve food stations such as salad bars, and eliminate free samples and tasting stations.
• Adopt procedures to meet federal environmental cleaning guidelines, including continuously cleaning and disinfecting frequent touchpoints, such as point-of-sale terminals at registers, shopping carts and shopping baskets.
• Prohibit employees who are sick from reporting to work and send employees home if they display COVID-19 symptoms.
• Accommodate employees who fall within a vulnerable population by providing lower-exposure work assignments or giving them the option to take an unpaid leave of absence.
• Develop and implement a daily screening program for all staff upon or just prior to reporting to work sites. 

Due to increased strain on Michigan’s food service industry, local health departments, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the governor has also extended the deadline for certain forms of licensing and registration.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. 

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Update 4/26/2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is now a Saturday Night Live character, after a skit aired on April 25th depicting Michigan's leader delivering a satirical message to the state's residents about staying safe during the state's Coronavirus lockdown.

The body of a six-year-old was found on Friday April 24th in the Huron River.  The boy, along with his father, disappeared during a fishing trip on March 29th.

A man was rescued after his kayak capsized in West Michigan.  It happened Saturday morning, April 25th, at Fennessy Lake, in West Michigan.  The 42 year old man was treated for hypothermia.

SEIU Healthcare Michigan President Andrea Acevedo says she is concerned some nursing homes in Michigan are choosing not to report COVID-19 deaths to employees and the public putting more lives in danger.  The union represents more than 5,000 nursing home workers.

A Grand Haven church is among others in the state to offer a drive-in service as Michigan's stay-at-home order remains in place.  Trinity Reformed Church invited drivers to park in the church's lot on Sunday morning at 10am but required attendees to keep windows up and continue to social distance.

A Republican Michigan lawmaker is apologizing after wearing a face mask in session in Lansing on Friday, April 24th that resembled the Confederate flag.  State Senator Dale Zorn said the mask's design was not a Confederate flag but apologized for his choice of pattern.

Mid-Michigan TV stations will host a town hall with Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday April 30th.  The event will originate at the ABC 12 studios in Flint and will be carried on that station, along with WNEM-TV 5, NBC 25 and FOX 66, from 7 to 8pm.

A person suspected of breaking into vehicles in Gaylord over the weekend has been arrested. Authorities say there may be more victims than those currently known.