Michigan’s extra safety measures implemented

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Sunday, signed Executive Order 2020-60 to establish strategies to reduce exposure to COVID-19 for both customers and employees. The order also provides temporary relief by suspending certain licensing requirements and regulations for food service industries.

“While Michiganders fight this virus, we must continue to take aggressive action to reduce exposure and prevent a second spike in cases,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is not the time to slow our efforts; we must continue to be smart. By establishing these guidelines, we can protect Michigan families and our frontline workers. When we come together, we can slow the spread of this virus and save lives.”

Under the order, customers are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering a food establishment. Grocery stores and pharmacies must allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations. Additionally, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the establishment must notify other employees without infringing on private personal-health related information of an employee.

In an effort to protect the health and safety of consumers, the order also outlines strategies food establishments and pharmacies must take to reduce possible exposure of COVID-19 to their customers. As outlined under Executive Order 2020-42, establishments must do the following:

  • Require checkout employees to wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth, such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief;
  • Ensure that both employees and customers remain at least six feet apart to the maximum extent possible;
  • Close self-serve prepared food stations such as salad bars and eliminate free samples and tasting stations;
  • Adopt procedures to meet the environmental cleaning guidelines set by the CDC, including by cleaning and disinfecting frequent touchpoints throughout the day 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 symptoms of COVID-19.
  • 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 with a return date coinciding with the end of the states of emergency and disaster.
  • Develop and implement a daily screening program, as described herein, for all staff upon or just prior to reporting to work sites.

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

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