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Gov. Whitmer signs executive directive to prioritize enforcement of COVID-19 laws

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 13:22:28-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Whitmer signed an executive directive that will direct state departments and agency heads to ensure that enforcement of COVID-19 laws is a priority.

The governor's office says cases have risen over the past month and without effective enforcement, Michigan will move backwards.

Under the new directive, directors and agency heads should assign elevated priority enforcement of COVID-19 in categories of establishments where transmission is well-documented, including nursing homes, meat processing plants and agricultural housing.

“Ensuring these executive orders are enforced across the state will protect Michigan families, small businesses, and the first responders on the front lines of this crisis,” Whitmer said in a press release. “This fight is not over yet. During the month of July we saw an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in every region of the state. By allocating the appropriate and needed resources, we can continue to save lives and ensure we don’t have to move backward.”

Executive Directive 2020-08 requires departments to consider violations of law when determining eligibility for licensing. This includes any violation of relevant COVID-19 executive orders or epidemic orders. If a state department or agency becomes aware of non-compliance under the law they must consider it to be presumptive evidence of a “public health hazard” or “imminent and substantial hazard to the public health” and take appropriate steps to mitigate any risk to public health and safety. This includes, but is not limited to, suspension of a license or cessation of operation of a food establishment.

The Michigan State Police will enforce violations of these COVID-19 related laws, such as executive orders and DHHS epidemic orders, in the same manner as any other violation of law, applying their discretion as appropriate. Departments and agencies who become aware of a violation must share that information with relevant licensing authorities, and collaborate on enforcement to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.