Michigan workers may return to in-person work in all sectors of business on May 24 now that 55 percent of residents age 16 or older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Under Governor Whitmer’s “MI Vacc to Normal” plan, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services COVID restrictions are relaxed or eliminated once certain vaccination thresholds are met. Pursuant to the plan, a return to in-person work is allowed two weeks after the 55 percent threshold is reached, which occurred on May 10.
Additional restrictions, such as limitations on attendance at sporting events and conferences, and capacity limits for indoor dining indoor gatherings, will be eased at the 60 and 65 percent thresholds. Once 70 percent of Michigan residents 16 and older are vaccinated, all COVID restrictions, including orders regarding face coverings, will be lifted.
While prohibitions on in-person work are set to be lifted on May 24, it is unclear whether additional COVID-19 workplace rules and restrictions from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) will be altered. Sean Egan, COVID-19 workplace safety director for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, said in a statement:
“MIOSHA is in the process of reviewing both the emergency rules and draft permanent rules as the state meets and exceeds certain vaccination rates. MIOSHA’s rule-making is flexible in that the agency has the ability to modify or rescind all or parts of each rule set to best protect Michigan workers as the pandemic moves closer to ending.”
In addition, on May 14, Governor Whitmer announced that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will be updating the Gatherings and Mask Order to align with the CDC’s latest guidance on face coverings. Beginning May 15 at 9:00 a.m., fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask while outdoors. While indoors, fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask, but residents who are not vaccinated, or have not completed their vaccinations, must continue to wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and others.
We will continue to keep you updated as to any new developments affecting workplace safety. If you have any questions about your workplace, and the state or federal rules and regulations concerning COVID-19, please contact Dave Houston or your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.
This alert serves as a general summary, and does not constitute legal guidance. All statements made in this article should be verified by counsel retained specifically for that purpose. Please contact us with any specific questions.
Fraser Trebilcock Shareholder Dave Houston has over 40 years of experience representing employers in planning, counseling, and litigating virtually all employment claims and disputes including labor relations (NLRB and MERC), wage and overtime, and employment discrimination, and negotiation of union contracts. He has authored numerous publications regarding employment issues. You can reach him at 517.377.0855 or email@example.com.