Gov. Whitmer signs order for safety measures to protect consumers, employees

Posted at 12:05 PM, Apr 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 19:55:08-04

LANSING (WXYZ) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Sunday that imposes safety measures to protect consumers and employees from further exposure to COVID-19.

The new order encourages customers to wear face covering over the nose and mouth at food establishments. Grocery stores and pharmacies must also set aside at minimum two hours each week for the most vulnerable populations to shop.

Additionally, the order requires that if an employee at a store tests positive for COVID-19, other employees must be notified without infringing on the personal health information of the infected employee.

“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.”

Executive Order 2020-60, which is effective immediately, also provides temporary relief by suspending certain licensing requirements and regulations for food service industries, the governor's office said in a press release.

The order also outlines what food establishments and pharmacies must do to reduce possible exposure of the coronavirus. The list is as follows:

  • 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.

Read the full executive order here.

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