• April 16, 2021 - Gatherings and Face Mask Order

    Michigan law imposes on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) a duty to continually and diligently endeavor to "prevent disease, prolong life, and promote the public health," and gives the Department "general supervision of the interests of the health and life of the people of this state." MCL 333.2221. MDHHS may "[e]xercise authority and promulgate rules to safeguard properly the public health; to prevent the spread of diseases and the existence of sources of contamination; and to implement and carry out the powers and duties vested by law in the department." MCL 333.2226(d).

    The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans and easily spread from person to person. COVID-19 spreads through close human contact, even from individuals who may be asymptomatic.

    New and unexpected challenges continue to arise: in early December 2020, a variant of COVID-19 known as B.1.1.7 was detected in the United Kingdom. According to the CDC, this variant is roughly 50 percent more infectious than the original strain. On January 16, 2021, this variant was detected in Michigan. B.1.1.7 is currently the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Michigan and the United States. Michigan is second in the nation with respect to the number of B.1.1.7 variant cases detected. Michigan has also detected cases of variants B.1.351 and P1, which experts continue to study and monitor closely. This further complicates the battle against COVID-19.

    In the past eight weeks, spread of COVID-19 has risen nearly 400% amongst persons aged 10-19. As of April 8, local health departments had reported 312 new and ongoing outbreaks among K-12 schools, with 48 of those outbreaks reported in the week prior. Additionally, there are 329 identified clusters among minors participating in school and club sports since January 2021. To promote the continued safe operation of in-person schools, additional mitigation measures related to youth sports activities are warranted.

    I therefore order that:

    • Definitions.
    1. "Camp" means a day, residential, travel, or troop camp for children (as defined by Rule 400.11101(1)(q) of the Michigan Administrative Code).
    2. "Child care organization" means that term as defined by section 1(b) of the Child Care Organizations Act, 1973 PA 116, as amended, MCL 722.111(b)).
    3. "Contact sports" means sports involving more than occasional and fleeting contact, including: football; basketball; rugby; field hockey; soccer; lacrosse; wrestling; hockey; boxing; futsal; martial arts with opponents; and other sports meeting those criteria.
    4. "Competition" means a game of skill played between opposing teams.
    5. "Employee" means that term as defined in section 2(c) of the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, 2018 PA 337, as amended, MCL 408.932(c), and also includes independent contractors.
    6. "Entertainment and recreational facility" includes: auditoriums; cinemas; concert halls; performance venues; sporting venues; theaters; night clubs; strip clubs; water parks; archery ranges; amusement parks; arcades; bingo halls; bowling centers; casinos; gun ranges; laser tag arenas; trampoline parks; and the like.
    7. "Exercise facility" means a location in which individuals participate in individual or group physical activity, including gymnasiums, fitness centers, and exercise studios.
    8. and more.
    • General capacity limitations at gatherings.
    1. Indoor gatherings:
      1. Are prohibited at residential venues, except where no more than 15 persons from no more than 3 households are gathered. Such gatherings should be held consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services for such gatherings; and
      2. Are prohibited at non-residential venues, except where no more than 25 persons are gathered.
    2. Outdoor gatherings are permitted only as follows:
      1. At residential venues, where 50 or fewer persons are gathered;
      2. At non-residential venues, where 300 or fewer persons are gathered.
    3. and more.

    To read more about:
    • Gathering restrictions for entertainment facilities, recreational facilities, and food service establishments
    • Gathering restrictions for other facilities. 
    • Schools, colleges, technical schools, and universities.
    • Organized sports gathering restrictions.
    • Face mask requirement at gatherings.
    • Exceptions to face mask requirements. 
    • Contact tracing requirements for particular gatherings.
    • Implementation.
    Please click here.

    This order, with the exception of sections 7(e) and 8(a), takes effect on April 19, 2021, at 12:01 AM, at which time the March 19, 2021, order entitled Gatherings and Face Mask Order is rescinded. Section 7(e) and 8(a) take effect at 12:01 AM on April 26, 2021. This order remains in effect through May 24, 2021, at 11:59 PM. Persons with suggestions and concerns are invited to submit their comments via email to COVID19@michigan.gov.

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