All indoor meetings of a public body must be held completely virtually, if at all, between Nov. 18 and Dec. 8, 2020, under a new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) emergency order that goes into effect on Wednesday. The order enacts a three-week “pause” targeting indoor gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates. The Open Meetings Act, as amended by Public Act 228 of 2020, allows virtual meetings to be held for any reason through Dec. 31, 2020.
Under the new order:
MTA has updated its fact sheet, “Township Meetings and Facilities Under Public Act 228 of 2020 and REVISED MDHHS Emergency Order November 18, 2020, ‘Gatherings and Face Mask Order,’ ” to include information and guidance on the new order.
The limitations to gatherings do not apply to workplace gatherings that occur consistent with the emergency rules issued by MIOSHA on Oct. 14, 2020. There are no additional restrictions on local government offices being open to the public. However, under the MIOSHA order and subsequent MDHHS workplace safety guidelines, work should be completed remotely unless it is strictly necessary for an employee to be in person to complete their job duties. Note that MIOSHA will be conducting workplace inspections for compliance with the emergency rules.
The latest MDHHS order, which lasts through Dec. 8, is not a blanket stay-home action like the state saw in the spring. It leaves open work that cannot be performed from home, including for manufacturing, construction and health occupations. Parks remain open, as well as outdoor gatherings and outdoor dining. Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment.

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