(WXYZ) — Despite the state Supreme Court striking down the governor's emergency orders on COVID-19, the mask mandate remains in effect.
That's because the Michigan Department of Health and Human services issued an order of its own, also limiting social gatherings.
Life as we know it during this pandemic remains the same here in Michigan – if you're going to a public place, you must still wear a mask.
What's different is where that mandate comes from.
"I want to make clear today's order is lawful under the Michigan supreme decision."
Three days after the state Supreme Court ruled Governor Whitmer did not have the authority to issue emergency orders to address COVID-19, the state Department of Health and Human Services issued similar orders on Monday.
"We are tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired of us."
Here's what you need to know.
The order takes effect immediately:
- At indoor or outdoor gatherings, masks must still be worn.
- Wearing a mask must still be enforced by businesses and government offices, and schools
- Only Region 6 is exempt.
- And just as before, the size of indoor gatherings will be limited.
Stand Up Michigan co-founder and state co-chair of Unlock Michigan Ron Armstrong says, "More than 539,000 Michigan citizens stood up against an elected governor abusing her power. They're not going to tolerate an un-elected bureaucrat continuing the abuse."
In the wake of the ruling, Monday night, the governor put out a video urging Michiganders to wear a mask and lawmakers to act.
COVID-19 didn’t stop being a threat because of the court ruling, because we’re tired of it, or because the legislature left town. We all have to do our part, because when it comes to fighting this virus, we are all in this together. pic.twitter.com/5LQwXO9UYi— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) October 6, 2020
"The CDC and experts agree these measures are crucial to slow the spread of the virus, to protect our frontline workers and keep our schools and small businesses open," said Whitmer.
The state health director said the spread of the coronavirus can be reduced by 70 percent when masks are worn.
Any violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by six months in jail or a $200 fine. Violations of the order are also punishable by a civil fine of up to $1,000.