Nonessential businesses to remain closed

Charlevoix County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof and local policing agencies are asking Charlevoix County residents and visitors to please abide by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order that all non-essential workers remain at home in order to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

In response to a number of businesses around Charlevoix County which seem to be confused about what the executive order means, Telgenhof has issued two letters.

These are intended to clarify the rules surrounding the “Stay-at-home” order:

Basic Operations

The Governor of Michigan issued an executive order on March 23, 2020 to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.
The order states that businesses and operations that employ critical infrastructure workers may continue in-person operations.
For purposes of the order, “critical infrastructure workers” are defined as those working in the following areas:
• Chemical supply chains and safety
• Child care for children and dependents of critical infrastructure workers
• Communications and information technology, including news media
• Critical manufacturing
• Defense industrial base
• Energy
• Financial services
• Food and agriculture
• Government operations and essential functions
• Hazardous materials
• Health care and public health
• Insurance industry, to the extent the work cannot be done by telephone or remotely
• Law enforcement, public safety and first responders
• Maintenance of public parks
• Necessary suppliers or service providers designated by critical infrastructure workers (to the extent necessary to facilitate the work of the critical infrastructure workers)
• Providing of food, shelter and other necessities to the needy and disabled
• Public transit, trash pickup and disposal
• Public works
• Transportation and logistics
• Water and wastewater

Businesses that are not considered “critical infrastructure” above should not be conducting in-person operations.
Violation of the Executive Order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine per violation.
If you have questions regarding this, check the Governor’s FAQ page at https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, call the Governor’s constituent services line at (517) 335-7858 or call my office.
Sincerely,
Allen Telgenhof

Infrastructure Letter

Dear Sir or Madam:
On March 23, 2020, the Governor of Michigan issued Executive Order 2020-21 which provides for the temporary suspension of activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.
Law enforcement has received information indicating that you may be in violation of this Executive Order.
The actual language of the order can be found on page 10.
The order provides that all individuals within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence with limited exceptions.
It also provides that no person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence except to the extent that those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.
I understand that some questions have arisen with respect to the phrase “minimum basic operations.”
This clause needs to be read together with the order’s language that states that the order “must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.”
This provision allows continued work by those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.
This does not include customer service or interaction with the public.
No business should be open to the public based upon this “minimum basic operations” clause.
Violations of an executive order are a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine per violation.
If you have any questions regarding this letter or the Executive Order, please feel free to contact me.
Sincerely,
Allen Telgenhof

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