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Governor Reimposes Restrictions in Northern Michigan  

by Jason Hanselman, Courtney Kissel

Published: July, 2020

Submission: August, 2020


On July 29, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order Nos. 2020-160 and 2020-161. Executive Order 2020-160 replaces the prior executive orders that address stay home, stay safe restrictions in Michigan. In general, this Order moves the State to a more uniform approach to business operations and restrictions. Northern Michigan will experience the most change under the new Order as Regions 6 and 8 join the rest of Michigan with a 10-person limit on indoor gatherings and the closure of all bars. Executive Order No. 2020-161 addresses workplace safety requirements and replaces Executive Order No. 2020-145.

With Executive Order 2020-160, Governor Whitmer has moved the State to a more uniform approach for business operations and restrictions. As of July 31st, Executive Order Nos. 2020-110 and 2020-115 will be rescinded and all Regions will be governed by Executive Order 2020-160 for business operations.[1] Some of the most significant changes under EO 2020-160 include the following:

  • For all Regions, any work that is capable of being performed remotely (i.e., without the worker leaving his or her home or place of residence) must be performed remotely. Executive Order No. 2020-115 (for Regions 6 and 8) had slightly loosened this language to use the term “should be performed remotely” in reference to work that is capable of being performed remotely; but this new Order moves the entire State (including Regions 6 and 8) back to the standard found in EO 2020-110—such work must be done remotely.
  • For all Regions, social gatherings or organized events among persons not part of the same household are permitted, but only to the extent that: (1) the gathering or event is designed to ensure that persons not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another; (2) persons not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another; (3) if it is indoors, the gathering or event does not exceed 10 people; and (4) if it is outdoors, the gathering or event does not exceed 100 people (250 people for Regions 6 and 8 with social distancing maintained).
  • Indoor gyms, theaters, and cinemas (as well as additional public accommodation operations) remain closed (except in Regions 6 and 8, but there are capacity restrictions and social distancing is required).
  • Bars must close indoor service.
  • Detroit’s casinos are permitted to reopen with limited capacity.

In addition to the above, all businesses and operations that require employees to leave their home or place of residence for work are subject to the rules on workplace safeguards in Executive Order 2020-161 or any order that may follow from it. Executive Order No. 2020-161 replaces Executive Order No. 2020-145. Both Executive Orders Nos. 2020-160 and 161 have additional provisions that might apply to your business and should be reviewed closely to determine whether your business needs to make any changes based on these new orders.

For more information about Executive Order Nos. 2020-160 and 2020-161, please contact Courtney Kissel (248-203-0743 or [email protected]) or Jason Hanselman (517-374-9181 or [email protected]).

[1] Executive Order No. 2020-160 generally applies to all businesses and operations in the State, but certain industries may find additional restrictions or guidance in other executive orders from the Governor. See, e.g., Executive Order No. 2020-56 (healthcare facilities, etc).

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