State and Federal Legislative Updates

STATE

MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (MDHHS)

MDHHS new epidemic expands capacity at outdoor Stadiums and arenas and increases testing to protect youth in sports

MARCH 19, 2021 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

updated its Gatherings and Mask epidemic order, allowing up to 20% capacity in outdoor stadiums and arenas that establish infection control plans. The update also increases testing for youth ages 13-19 to ensure athletes can safely participate in sports. The changes are designed to balance day-to-day activities while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and saving Michiganders' lives. Although progress has been made, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as we take steps to get back to normal. The changes to the Order go into effect Monday, March 22, and remain in effect through Monday, April 19.  

Gatherings at outdoor stadiums and arenas are increased to 20% of the venue's capacity if the site: 

  • Establishes an infection control plan that complies with the protocols included in MDHHS's document entitled Enhanced Outdoor Stadium and Arena Guidance

  • Posts the mitigation plan publicly. 

  • Sends infection control plans to the local health department and MDHHS at least seven days before scheduled events.  

  • Administers a testing program as specified in MDHHS's Guidance for Athletics for all players. 

MDHHS had been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks.  Michigan's metrics have been increasing for the past few weeks. The presence of more infectious variants, such as the B 1.1.7 variant, threatens our progress in control of the epidemic and MDHHS will be monitoring data closely. In recent days: 
 

  • Positivity rate: has increased for four weeks to 6.2%. This metric is up 177% from the mid-February low but remains below the December high of 19.4%.  

  • Statewide case rate: This metric has increase over the past four weeks to 172.9 cases per million. The rate is up 77% from the low in mid-February but remains below peak of 737.8 cases per million on Saturday, Nov 14. 

  • Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 is now at 4.9%. This metric peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4 and is now up 25% from an end of February low.   

And, to ensure consistency with recently issued CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals may now participate in residential gatherings with other fully vaccinated individuals without wearing a mask.  

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.

Read the full order here.

MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (MDHHS)

Updated MDHHS orders expand restaurant capacity, increase gathering and capacity limits

MARCH 2, 2021 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has updated two of its epidemic orders, allowing for increased capacity limits at various venues, larger residential and nonresidential gatherings and expanded visitation opportunities at residential care facilities. Changes are designed to balance reopening while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and save Michiganders’ lives. Although progress has been made in reduction of hospitalizations, it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as we reopen.

MDHHS had been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks. As with other states, Michigan’s metrics are mixed. The presence of more infectious variants, such as the B 1.1.7 variant, threatens our progress in control of the epidemic and MDHHS will be monitoring data closely. In recent days:
 

  • Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 is now at 3.9%. This metric peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

  • Overall case rates: After declining for six weeks, this metric is plateauing at 91.2 cases per million. The rate is similar to what we were at the beginning of October.

  • Positivity rate: is now at 3.7% having increased slightly from last week (3.5%). This metric is similar to where we were at the beginning of October

With all residents at skilled nursing homes having been offered their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and a vast majority having had their second dose, the Residential Care Facilities Order goes into effect immediately. The order encourages communal dining and group activities for residents and allows indoor and outdoor visitation in all counties regardless of county risk level. Visitation is allowed as long as the facility has not had a new COVID-19 case in the last 14 days and all indoor visitors ages 13 and older are subject to rapid antigen testing. Testing will help keep residents, staff and families safe while allowing for visitation and an increased quality of life for residents. Adult foster care homes licensed for 12 or fewer residents, hospice facilities, substance use disorder residential facilities and assisted-living facilities are encouraged to implement visitor and staff testing protocols.
 

Visitors will be required to wear face masks or other personal protective equipment when required by the facility at all times. In general, visitors will need to maintain six feet from residents.


Changes to the Gatherings and Mask Order go into effect Friday, March 5, and remain in effect through Monday, April 19.
 

Capacity changes include:
 

  • Restaurants and bars are allowed to be at 50% capacity up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. There is now an 11 p.m. curfew.

  • Indoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 25 people, allowing public meetings and other small indoor gatherings to resume.

  • Outdoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 300, allowing larger outdoor events to resume.

  • Indoor entertainment venues are allowed to be at 50% capacity, up to 300 people.

  • Exercise facilities are allowed to be at 30% capacity with restrictions on distancing and mask requirements.

  • Retail is allowed to be at 50% capacity.

  • Casinos are allowed to be at 30% capacity.

  • Indoor stadiums and arenas are allowed have 375 if seating capacity is under 10,000; 750 if seating capacity is over 10,000.

  • Outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities may host up to 1,000 patrons.

Read the full order here.

MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (MDHHS)

Michigan health department issues emergency order following Supreme Court decision

OCT. 29, 2020 -  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced new capacity restrictions on indoor gatherings, effective immediately. 

 

Indoor venues without fixed seating must limit gatherings such as weddings, parties, and banquets to no more than 50 people, down from the maximum of 500. Restaurants, bars and other venues may seat no more than six people at a table. Starting Monday, Nov. 2, all dine-establishments must keep customers' names and phone numbers for contact-tracing purposes

Limits on attendance at residential gatherings
  • Indoors: Up to 10 persons

  • Outdoors: Up to 100 persons 

Limits on attendance at non-residential venues
  • For Fixed Seating: No more than 500 persons are gathered, attendance is limited to 20% of the seating capacity of the venue

  • Without Fixed Seating: No more than 50 persons are gathered, and attendance is limited to 20 persons per 1,000 square feet in each occupied room

  • All persons at the gathering are to wear a face mask

  • Only six people are permitted at each table


Outdoors


Outdoor gatherings up to 1,000 persons occurring at a non-residential venue are permitted only to the extent that the organizers and venue:

  • For Fixed Seating: limit attendance to 30% of seating capacity

  • Without Fixed Seating: limit attendance to 30 persons per 1,000 square feet, including within any distinct area within the event space

  • Require that each person at the gathering wear a face mask
     

Read the full order here.

MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT

Michigan Supreme Court Rules Against Governor's Emergency Powers

OCT. 2, 2020 -  In a 4-3 majority opinion, the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that Governor Gretchen Whitmer did not have the authority to declare or extend states of emergency in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic via the Emergency Management Act of 1976 and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act from 1945. 

It is unclear at this time what impact this will have on the Executive Orders that are currently in place. Further updates will be posted here as they are made available.

Read the full Michigan Supreme Court ruling.

Contact Us

Subscribe to Our Emails

West Michigan COVID-19 Business Coalition

CONVENING MEMBERS

COALITION MEMBERS