Governor Extends Stay Home, OMA Orders and Issues Reopening Plan Details

Jennifer Smith

By Jennifer Smith, MASB Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, May 13, 2020

Since our last newsletter on April 29, 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the state of emergency and the Stay Home, Stay Safe order until May 28, 2020. But in extending the Stay Home order, she also lifted a few more restrictions and laid out her plan for reopening the state. Following the extension of the state of emergency, she also reissued a few other orders affecting schools.

Executive Order 2020-70 was issued on May 1 and was clarified further/superseded under Executive Order 2020-77 on May 7. Under this EO, the real estate industry was allowed to resume. There are still social distancing and safety requirements to be followed including no in-person open houses and no more than four people on premise at the same time. In addition to real estate, those whose work is primarily outdoors could resume on May 7 and manufacturing, including the Big Three auto companies, could return on May 11. As previously reported, construction projects could begin or resume as of May 7. The Governor’s office has issued a frequently asked questions document to further explain the order.

Executive Order 2020-75 extended the suspension of Open Meetings Act requirements and the regular monthly meeting requirement for local school boards until June 30, 2020. MASB’s legal counsel, Brad Banasik, J.D., has updated the FAQs: Holding School Board Meetings During COVID-19 Pandemic document to reflect the extension.

Finally, Executive Order 2020-79 suspends the in-person requirements for youth work permits. The work permits are still required, however, it can be accepted and examined through electronic means or the mail. It also removes the requirement that work permits be different colors for those older and younger than age 16. This order is in effect until June 8.

In addition to the new orders, the Governor also released details of the MI Safe Start Plan. Under it there are six phases that will be considered:

1. UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems. 

2. PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity. 

3. FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health system’s capacity is sufficient for current needs. 

4. IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining. 

5. CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements with outbreaks quickly contained. 

6. POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return. 

Each phase will lay out what activities and industries can return in order to continue to move toward the last phase. The plan includes details for each phase on what it looks like, what work we can do and what we need to do to stay safe. In announcing the plan, Gov. Whitmer stated that she has been working with leaders in health care, business, labor and education and that Michigan is currently in phase three.

We also have been in contact with the Governor’s office regarding how schools can open in the fall and what needs to be considered for the safety of students, staff and families. This conversation is ongoing, and we will pass along any updates as we receive them.

As always, please continue to share your concerns and questions with me and my department as we continue to work with MDE, the Executive Office, Legislature and our partners in education to get concerns addressed.

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