MDHHS Rescinding Emergency Orders, but MIOSHA Emergency Rules Still In Effect

On June 17, 2021, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that several of its Emergency Orders, including the Gatherings and Face Mask Order, would be rescinded effective June 22, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. because of the decrease in COVID-19 positivity rates, case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths, as well as the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

Although there will no longer be any state-wide requirements and protective measures from the MDHHS in place, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) Emergency Rules remain in effect. As we previously advised, the updated MIOSHA Emergency Rules require employees who are not fully vaccinated to maintain social distancing (i.e. at least six feet apart) and wear masks when social distancing is not possible. Employers may exempt fully vaccinated employees[1] from the social distancing and mask requirements under the MIOSHA Emergency Rules; however, this is not mandatory and employers may continue to require face coverings for all employees, regardless of vaccination status. If the employer chooses to exempt fully vaccinated employees, the employer must:

  • Keep records of whether employees are fully vaccinated;
  • Post signs in the work area reminding employees who are not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings and maintain distancing; or
  • Allow or require remote work.

The MIOSHA Emergency Rules remain in effect through October 14, 2021, unless revised.

Additionally, while the MDHHS requirement regarding mask wearing will end on June 22, 2021, businesses may still require masks for its customers and/or visitors.

Keller Thoma will continue to monitor the federal and state legislation and regulations with respect to COVID-19 as they become available. In the meantime, should you wish to discuss any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact your Keller Thoma attorney.

[1] Rule 2(f) of the MIOSHA Rules defines “fully vaccinated persons” as “persons for whom at least 2 weeks have passed after receiving the final dose of an FDA-approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine.”

Categories: Case Alerts, KT