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‘Stay Home’ extended; ‘Safe Start’ begins

LANSING — On May 7, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-77 to extend Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 28. The governor’s order allowed manufacturing workers, including those at Michigan’s Big 3 auto companies, to resume work on Monday, May 11 as part of her MI Safe Start Plan.  
     “This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” Whitmer said. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly. As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19.
    “When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”
     Under Executive Order 2020-77, manufacturing facilities must adopt measures to protect their workers from the spread of COVID-19. That includes conducting a daily entry screening protocol for workers and everyone else entering the facility, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with a temperature screening as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained. They must also create dedicated entry points at every facility and suspend entry of all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.
     “Governor Whitmer has brought together leaders in business and labor to ensure our workers can return to the job safely,” said John Walsh, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “The safety of our workers is our top priority and I am confident that Michigan manufacturers are prepared to deliver on the worker protections included in today’s order. We believe the manufacturing industry has a big role to play in Michigan’s economic recovery and we’re ready to lead the way. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the governor to bring the manufacturing industry back up to full strength.”
     Manufacturing facilities must also train workers on, among other things, how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or suspected or confirmed diagnosis, and the use of personal protective equipment.
     All businesses in the state—including manufacturers—must require masks to be worn when workers cannot consistently maintain 6 feet of separation from others and consider face shields for those who cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other workers.
     “MICHauto and the Detroit Regional Chamber applaud the Governor for her continued steps to safely re-open our economy,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., executive director of MICHauto, and vice president of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives for the Chamber. “Automotive and manufacturing is not only the backbone of our regional and state economy, it is essential to the functioning of the global supply chain. This is good news for Michigan and the nation,”
     “We have supported Governor Whitmer’s approach to keeping families, communities and companies safe since the beginning of this pandemic,” said Andi Owen, president and CEO of Herman Miller. “Our manufacturing teams are at the heart of our company. Working within the governor’s guidelines will help to ensure we maintain the safest environment for our employees, both as they come to work and return home to their families.”
     The governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in effect until May 28, 2020. Under this order, Michiganders still must not leave their homes except to run critical errands, to engage in safe outdoor activities, or to go to specified jobs.
    After announcing that Michigan’s manufacturing workers were return to work on Monday, Whitmer detailed the six phases of her MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan’s economy. The governor has worked with leaders in health care, business, labor, and education to develop the plan, and announced today that Michigan is in phase three.
     The phases of the pandemic include:
    1) UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems.
    2) PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity.
    3) FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing, and the health-system’s capacity is sufficient for current needs.
    4) IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining.
    5) CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained.
    6) POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return.
    “I am working closely with health care experts and epidemiologists to closely monitor Michigan’s progress in the fight against COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “As we move forward with the MI Safe Start Plan, I am working closely with partners in business, labor, and education to determine the best way to move forward each day. All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again. We’ve already reopened lower-risk sectors like construction, manufacturing, and lawn care.  
     “The worst thing we can do is open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, puts health care workers at further risk, and wipes out all the progress we’ve made. That’s why we will continue to monitor the spread of this virus, hospital capacity, testing rates, and more as we work toward reaching the ‘improving’ phase.”