Michigan’s health department issues order mandating face masks, limiting gatherings

LANSING, Mich.—The director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Robert Gordon, on Monday issued an emergency order that establishes guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The MDHHS order comes days after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the law used as the basis for multiple COVID-19 related executive orders signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer was unconstitutional.

The order will remain in effect through October 30, 2020.

Gordon’s new epidemic order requires that face masks be worn in public, including at schools not in Region 6.

Exceptions to the face mask order include those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering, are exercising outdoors and able to social distance and more.

The order also reinstates limitations on indoor and outdoor gatherings as well as limits the operation of bars and other venues previously implemented by Whitmer.

Whitmer on Monday filed a motion asking the Michigan Supreme Court to clarify when the ruling on her emergency powers takes effect.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling raises several legal questions that we are still reviewing. While we are moving swiftly, this transition will take time,” Gordon said in a press release on Monday. “Make no mistake, Governor Whitmer will continue using every tool at her disposal to keep Michigan families, frontline workers, and small businesses safe from this deadly virus. The same is true for our department. We will use every statutory tool available to protect our state employees and the residents we serve. We also need Michiganders to do their part by wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and getting their flu vaccine. We will get through this together.”

Read the full order on the state health department’s website.

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