Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order on Thursday to May 28, while initiating her MI Safe Start Plan.
The plan allows manufacturing workers, such as those at automotive companies, to resume work on May 11. Companies must conduct daily entry screening protocol for those entering the facility, including a questionnaire about symptoms and a temperature screening. Facilities must also create dedicated entry points and suspend the entry of nonessential people.
“We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re0engage our economy safely and responsibly,” Whitmer said in a statement. “As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19.”
Manufacturing facilities must also train workers on symptoms of COVID-19, how it is transmitted, the use of personal protective equipment, and how to notify the business if they are showing symptoms of the coronavirus.
All Michigan businesses are currently required to have workers wear masks when they cannot stay six feet apart and consider face shields if they cannot maintain three feet of separation.
“The safety of our workers is our top priority and I am confident that Michigan manufacturers are prepared to deliver on the worker protections included in today’s order,” said John Walsh, President and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, in a statement. “We believe the manufacturing industry has a big role to play in Michigan’s economic recovery and we’re ready to lead the way.”
Michigan had nearly 69,000 people file for unemployment insurance benefits during the week ending May 2, according to recently released data by the U.S. Department of Labor. Nearly 3 million claims were filed nationally. More than 1.3 million have filed since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to data analysis by MLive.
“When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly,” Whitmer said.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]