Whitmer Signs New Mask Order Requiring Indoor Use, Adding Penalties
By Beth Milligan | July 10, 2020
Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a new executive order Friday requiring Michigan residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces, in crowded outdoor spaces, and while waiting for or riding in public transportation (including cabs and ride-share services) - and added a misdemeanor offense to violations subject to a $500 fine. The order also requires businesses that are open to the public to refuse entry and service to individuals who fail to comply with the mask order, with a limited number of exceptions.
Those exempt from wearing a mask include anyone under the age of five, those who cannot medically tolerate a mask, those who are eating or drinking at an establishment, those who are exercising when a face covering would interfere with that activity, those who are engaged in public safety activities, officiating a service, or giving a speech, and those who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled. Residents can remove masks temporarily if needed to receive a service (such as at a dentist's appointment), or if they are entering a business where they need to temporarily remove their mask for identification purposes.
The order stipulates that businesses must post signage instructing customers of their obligation to wear masks and can't allow customers in unless they wear face coverings. Businesses could temporarily have their business licenses and/or liquor licenses suspended if they don't enforce the order. Child care centers and and camps are exempted from the order. While individuals can now be charged with a misdemeanor for violating the mask order, they cannot be imprisoned as a punishment - though they can be subject to a fine up to $500.
The order, which goes into effect immediately for individuals and at 12:01am Monday for businesses, comes a day after Whitmer held a press conference in which she stated she was considering strengthening the mask order to better enforce compliance as coronavirus cases rise in Michigan.Comment