Governor’s Plan to Re-open Michigan “Vacc to Normal”

Date: May 06, 2021

The latest plan is inconsistent with current MIOSHA emergency rules

Last week the Governor announced her latest plan to re-open Michigan.  While NFIB, the legislature, and many other groups have been asking for hard metrics for over a year, NFIB believes vaccination metrics alone should not determine when Michigan businesses can get back to normal operations. It should be noted that Governor Whitmer intentionally left herself an “out” on lifting all restrictions in that she can choose to change these metrics at any time: “Lifting the Gathering Order such that MDHHS will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants.”

NFIB members have made it clear that any pandemic related plans and orders that impact the economy and small business must include input from the duly elected legislature as an equal partner. In her continuing governance by press conference, legislative leadership was excluded and not informed of her latest announcements on the new vaccine-based metrics for reopening the state.

The governor’s new pivot to vaccine-based metrics for reopening, are also inconsistent with the current MIOSHA emergency rules (and the proposed permanent rules) that are keeping employees out of offices if they can work from home. To allow the public to go to offices that are closed because employees are working remotely (as required) makes no sense.

Stakeholders remain unsure if MIOSHA will withdraw the proposed pandemic rules and revise them to be consistent with the governor’s new plan.  Regardless, NFIB continues to work with the business community to stop any state specific permanent workplace COVID-19 rules from being put in place.

According to the governor’s new plan:

The restrictions of the Gathering Order will become less restrictive based on Michigan achieving the following vaccination milestones: 

  • 60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents), plus two weeks:

o   Increasing indoor capacity at sports stadiums to 25%.

o   Increasing indoor capacity at conference centers/banquet halls/funeral homes to 25%.

o   Increasing capacity at exercise facilities and gyms to 50%.

o   Lifting the curfew on restaurants and bars.

  • 65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents), plus two weeks:

o   Lifting all indoor percentage capacity limits, requiring only social distancing between parties.

o   Further relaxing limits on residential social gatherings.

  • 70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents), plus two weeks:

o   Lifting the Gathering Order such that MDHHS will no longer employ broad mitigation measures unless unanticipated circumstances arise, such as the spread of vaccine-resistant variants

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