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Employer Update: New Executive Order 2020-59 Extension of Shelter in Place

Today, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-59, extending and altering the Stay Home, Stay Safe guidelines until May 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m


The extended stay at home order is good news for some businesses, as the following workers may be permitted to return to work:

  • Workers who process or fulfill remote orders for goods for delivery or curbside pick-up.
  • Workers who perform bicycle maintenance or repair.
  • Workers for garden stores, nurseries, lawn care, pest control, and landscaping operations.**
  • Maintenance workers and grounds keepers who are necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of places of outdoor recreation not otherwise closed under Executive Order 2020-43 or any order that may follow from it, provided that the places and their workers do not provide goods, equipment, supplies or services to individuals.** (Example: Golf Courses!)
  • Workers for moving or storage operations.**

Businesses that employ workers who perform resumed activities, but do not sell necessary supplies, may sell any goods through remote sales via delivery or at the curbside. Such businesses or operations, however, must otherwise remain closed to the public and abide by mandatory social distancing practices.

** The enhanced social distancing and other protections for workers in garden stores, maintenance workers, and workers in moving and storage operations include:

  • Barring gatherings of any size in which people cannot maintain six feet distance from one another.
  • Limiting in-person interaction with clients to the maximum extent possible, and barring interaction in which people cannot maintain six feet distance from one another.
  • Providing personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face masks as appropriate for the activity.
  • Adopting protocols to limit the sharing of tools and equipment between employees to the maximum extent possible.


Executive Order 2020-59 maintains many of the restrictions on stores that remain open put in place by Executive Order 2020-42 but does not lift the restriction on sales of non-necessity goods at stores that remain open. Previously, the sale of home improvement and gardening commodities were restricted. Now stores can sell any goods that the store would normally sell in the ordinary course of business. Stores remaining open for in-person sales must nevertheless continue to abide by relevant provisions to ensure adequate social distancing.


Effective April 27, 2020, we must all wear a covering over our nose and mouth when in an enclosed public space, though we are urged to leave medical-grade coverings to the professionals.  Face covering may be a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief.

If your employees are performing in person work, you must, at a minimum, make non-medical grade face coverings available. Certainly, you may consider requiring employees to wear them to limit the potential for exposure among coworkers.  (Note, however, Governor Whitmer expressly indicates that individuals who cannot “medically tolerate” a face covering are not obligated to wear a mask. ) The CDC has issued helpful guidance on masks, including this article on “Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19”and this article answering frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and masks.


The Executive Order allows individuals to engage in some previously prohibited activities. The Order allows Michiganders to golf, travel between personal residences, and use motorboats.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions about how Executive Order 2020-59 impacts your business or workforce. Our dedicated team is continuing to monitor the situation as it develops.

This communication is not intended to constitute legal advice. Since the emergency regulations and guidelines are evolving rapidly and each of your circumstances are unique, we encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions about how this or other COVID-19 prompted government actions apply to your place of business. 

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