LANSING, MI — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two executive orders Saturday that will continue the protection of frontline workers including grocery store, pharmacy and long-term care facility employees.
Executive Order 2020-179 requires stores to provide two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations, and it will require health and safety precautions such as testing, cleaning and disinfecting, PPE and social distancing.
“Michigan has worked hard to fight COVID-19, but the fight is not over yet. We can’t let our guard down and must continue to step up to do our part to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Frontline workers in our hospitals, grocery stores, nursing homes, and more have put their own lives on the line to protect our families,” Whitmer said. “By extending these orders, we can protect our frontline heroes and most vulnerable populations from this virus and ensure they are able to work and live in a safe environment.”
Order 179 will continue through Sept. 30, according to a news release from the governor’s office, and will protect residents from eviction and employees from retaliatory action for staying home while exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
Executive Order 2020-178 will also last through Sept. 30 and extends the health and safety rules to include the following:
- Grocery stores and pharmacies must allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations.
- If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the business must notify other employees without infringing on private health information.
- Grocery stores and pharmacies must offer accommodations to vulnerable employees, such as low-risk assignments or a leave of absence.
Earlier this week, the Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force issued several recommendations, which Whitmer is reviewing and will implement any changes as soon as the review is complete, the release said.
COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS:
In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.
Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.
Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nosewhile in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.
For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, visit https://www.mlive.com/coronavirus/data/.