Emergency order calls for up to $1,000 in fines if social distancing isn't followed

Posted at 8:50 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 07:38:54-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that people can face up to $1,000 in fines and referral to licensing agencies for enforcement if state executive orders to social distance are not followed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“A person can have coronavirus without knowing it,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “They can spread the disease to others who can spread it to others. The only way to stop the spread is social distancing. A civil penalty and potential licensing actions send a strong message to Michiganders that social distancing is essential to saving lives.”

State officials add that criminal penalties for violation will also remain an option for prosecutors in these instances.

According to a release, the emergency order requires that every person must comply with the procedures and restrictions outlined in these executive orders and the instructions provided in their accompanying FAQs.

  • Executive Order 2020-11 temporarily prohibits large assemblages and events and temporarily closes schools.
  • Executive Order 2020-20 places temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation.
  • Executive Order 2020-21 temporarily restricts gatherings and travel and prohibits in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.

“There is not a vaccine or a recognized treatment for COVID-19 and our healthcare system is being severely taxed by this pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We need people to heed the Stay Home, Stay Safe order as well as other orders issued by the Governor to protect the health and safety of all Michiganders.”

Law enforcement agencies across the state are authorized to investigate potential violations of the executive orders, and will coordinate within their jurisdictions on how to enforce this emergency order.

Places of religious worship are exempt from the executive social distancing orders.

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