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Michigan to begin issuing fines for violations of executive orders

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order on Thursday to create a $1,000 fine and referral to licensing agencies for violations of the executive orders protecting residents from the spread of COVID-19.

Criminal prosecution remains an option for violations.

“A person can have coronavirus without knowing it,” Director Robert Gordon said.  “They can spread the disease to others who can spread it to others.  The only way to stop the spread is social distancing. A civil penalty and potential licensing actions send a strong message to Michiganders that social distancing is essential to saving lives.”

The emergency order requires residents to comply with the following executive orders.

The Emergency Order requires that every person must comply with the procedures and restrictions outlined in these Executive Orders and the instructions provided in their accompanying FAQs.

“There is not a vaccine or a recognized treatment for COVID-19 and our healthcare system is being severely taxed by this pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We need people to heed the Stay Home, Stay Safe order as well as other orders issued by the Governor to protect the health and safety of all Michiganders.”

In addition to civil penalties, entities regulated by a licensing agency will be referred to relevant licensing agencies for additional enforcement.

Places of religious worship, when used for religious worship, are exempt from the Emergency Rules.

Law enforcement agencies can investigate violations of executive orders and can coordinate with the local health department to enforce the emergency order.

The agency says law enforcement can bar access to businesses and operations that don't comply with the executive orders.

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