Whitmer Administration: Face Masks For Everyone; They’ll Let You Know When They Can Come Off
Michigan’s workplace regulators say they will ‘examine the continued need’ for face masks, other rules
The administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is drafting permanent rules that, once adopted, would impose an indefinite mandate for employees and customers to wear face masks.
The mandate is spelled out in draft rules posted by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or MIOSHA. The rules, once formalized, would replace the state’s current emergency orders.
According to the state, “MIOSHA issued emergency rules for COVID-19 which will expire on April 14, 2021. These emergency rules may be extended for an additional 6 months, at which time formal rules would need to be implemented.”
MIOSHA stated that the face mask mandate was put into effect in Oct. 14, 2020.
Under the draft rules, a gym, bowling alley or other covered facility that is full of vaccinated customers would still have to require its patrons to wear face masks. Also under the proposed rules, fans at sporting events would have to wear masks.
The proposed rules state that once the state health department's epidemic orders, which also require face masks and limit gatherings, are rescinded, the agency “will examine the continued need for these COVID-19 rules.” Under current Michigan law, the Legislature effectively has no ability to halt state agencies from imposing new rules. The Legislature can delay the implementation of the rules.
The face covering mandate is listed in a section of the document called “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).”
The draft rules state, in part:
Workplace controls for all employers.
(5) The employer shall require face coverings to be worn when employees cannot consistently maintain 6 feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace and consider face shields when employees cannot consistently maintain 3 feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace.
(6) The employer shall require face coverings in shared spaces, including during in-person meetings and in restrooms and hallways.
(b) Require patrons to wear a face covering (unless the patron is unable medically to tolerate a face covering).
Restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars must:
(b) Require patrons to wear a face covering except when seated at their table or bar top (unless the patron is unable medically to tolerate a face covering).
(g) Require hosts, servers, and staff to wear face coverings in the dining area in addition to areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Health care. Health facilities or agencies, including outpatient health-care facilities, clinics, primary care physician offices, dental offices, and veterinary clinics, must:
(f) Require patients to wear a face covering when in the facility, except as necessary for identification or to facilitate an examination or procedure.
Personal-care services. All businesses or operations that provide barbering, cosmetology services, body art services (including tattooing and body piercing), tanning services, massage services, or similar personal-care services must:
(g) Require employees and customers to wear a face covering at all times, except that customers may temporarily remove a face covering when receiving a service that requires its removal. During services that require a customer to remove their face covering, an employee must wear a face shield or goggles in addition to the face covering.
Public accommodations. Sports and entertainment facilities, including arenas, cinemas, concert halls, performance venues, sporting venues, stadiums, and theaters, as well as places of public amusement, such as amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, night clubs, skating rinks, and trampoline parks, must:
(c) Require patrons to wear a face covering (unless the patron is unable medically to tolerate a face covering).
Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.