On Wednesday, July 29, Governor Whitmer issued 2 new executive orders (EOs 2020-160 and 161) that rescinded several previous orders (EOs 2020-110, -115, -120, -133, -143 and -145). These new orders effectively consolidate elements of the previous orders as well as incorporating clarifications to frequently asked questions.
This bulletin is intended to simply summarize where we are with respect to active EOs and the applicability to your business. As always, we remind you to review the EOs referenced here, along with any others that you believe may affect your business, to avoid any penalties for failure to comply.
At present, HBA of Southeastern Michigan believes three (3) EOs have direct applicability to our members’ business operations:
- EO 2020-153: Masks
- EO 2020-160: Amended Safe Start Order
- EO 2020-161: Safeguards to Protect Michigan’s Workers from COVID-19
EO 2020-153 SUMMARY
As covered in a previous HBA Special Bulletin, EO 2020-153 rescinded EO 2020-147 by adding a couple new requirements and clarifications. Face coverings must be worn in indoor places of public accommodation throughout the state as well as when social distance cannot be consistently maintained outdoors. Furthermore, indoor places of accommodation are required to deny entry or service to anyone not wearing a face covering and are required to inform patrons of their obligation to wear a mask.
As it may apply to HBA members, it is quite simple: IF your business advertises “open hours” where you are encouraging the public to visit your business (i.e., model homes, design center, showroom, etc.) then your business is subject to this EO.
EO 2020-160 SUMMARY
Essentially, this order establishes the “overarching” guidance for the 8 regions of the State by which the State’s COVID-19 response is being coordinated and administered. For all intents and purposes, southeastern Michigan (Region 1) is in Phase 4 along with most of the rest of the state. With a couple notable restrictions, Regions 6 and 8 (Northern Michigan and the UP) are in Phase 5. The link to the description of Michigan’s Phases is:
As it relates to your business, the most notable section of EO 2020-160 is:
- 2. Workplace safety. Any business or operation that requires its employees to leave their home or place of residence for work is subject to the rules on workplace safeguards in Executive Order 2020-161 or any order that may follow from it.
EO 2020-161 SUMMARY
Essentially, this order establishes the workplace safety safeguards that are required for a business to safely operate or risk enforcement actions including a misdemeanor and/or possible suspension of your business license.
It is important to note that while a particular workplace may have workplace safety guidelines mentioned in EO 2020-161, the actual operation of that business is determined by EO 2020-160. For example, workplace safety standards are established for indoor gyms in EO 2020-161 however indoor gyms are not allowed to operate outside of Regions 6 and 8 per EO 2020-160.
As it relates to your business (dependent upon your business and service delivery model), the most notable sections of EO 2020-161 are (EO Section title in bold followed by HBA’s summary):
- 1. All businesses or operations that require their employees to leave the homes or residences for work must, at a minimum: This section applies to ALL businesses and it includes subparagraphs (a) through (u) defining all of the actions an employer must take to safeguard its employees
- 2. Businesses or operations whose work is primarily and traditionally performed outdoors must: Clearly, this section applies to landscapers (note: construction is specifically addressed in Section 3) and other businesses where employees perform the majority of their work tasks outdoors (i.e., lumber yards, excavating, concrete, etc.)
- 3. Businesses or operations in the construction industry must: This section applies to builders, remodelers and applicable trade subcontractors working on new homes and/or major remodeling projects, implicitly where the home owner is not currently living in the affected residence.
- 6. Retail stores that are open for in-store sales, as well as libraries and museums, must: This section applies to members who operate in-store retail sales – regardless if limited to industry professionals or the general public. Please take note of the occupancy limit restrictions that are applied based on the store’s square footage.
- 7. Offices must: This section applies to all businesses – including those that may also be covered in other sections – as far as any business that has office locations and/or “back office” areas within their store, building company, etc.
- 10. All businesses or operations that provide in-home services, including cleaners, repair persons, painters, and the like, must: This section applies to remodelers, trade subcontractors and service providers who are conducting business within an occupied residence.
Given the recent rise in cases – particularly among younger people – we are beginning to hear reports of COVID-19 cases at job sites.
HBA REMINDS AND ENCOURAGES YOU TO FOLLOW ALL COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS ESTABLISHED IN MAY 2020 TO AVOID THE RISK OF HAVING CONSTRUCTION SHUT DOWN AGAIN.
Michael Stoskopf, CEO