Detroiters must wear a mask at indoor and outdoor gatherings and businesses must maintain social distancing and capacity limits, Detroit city officials announced Friday.
Detroit Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair issued a new COVID-19 public health order which takes effect immediately and reinstates aspects of the emergency declarations previously issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which were undercut by a state Supreme Court ruling. The state health department on Friday issued a sweeping order that largely mirrors those put in place by Whitmer.
Detroit’s order gives guidance for businesses, schools, workplaces and public gatherings to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“If you live, visit or operate a business in the city of Detroit, you only have to look in one place and that’s Director Fair’s order,” Mayor Mike Duggan said Friday. “And what we are going to do is make sure the city has certainty and continuity.”
More: Michigan health department issues sweeping COVID-19 regulations that mirror Whitmer orders
More: Whitmer asks Supreme Court to delay COVID-19 ruling, House to return to session
The Detroit order covers seven main areas. Here is a rundown:
- Face coverings: Appropriate face coverings must be worn at indoor and outdoor gatherings. Where this is not possible, social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained.
- Buses: Masks must be worn when using buses or other forms of public transportation. DDOT riders must wear a mask or they cannot ride the bus.
- Bars, restaurants and casinos: The order states capacity limitations, social distancing and mask requirements for all patrons and employees. The order also stipulates that business owners must provide access to public health inspectors upon request. Food establishments must limit capacity to 50% or normal seating and follow social distancing protocols.
- Gatherings: The order stipulates “allowable” gathering sizes with social distancing and mask requirements. Up to 10 people can gather indoors and up to 100 people can gather outdoors, at a residence.
- Workplaces: The order says that masks must be worn and that social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained. Workplaces must develop COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. Remote work should be performed when possible. The order lays out guidance for various work environments including offices and health care clinics.
- Schools: The order requires K-12 schools to publicly disclose any probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases on their website within 24 hours of learning of the cases. They must continue following COVID-19 preparedness and response plans and all staff and students must wear their masks.
- Public Accommodations: Bowling alleys, theaters, gyms and other venues are allowed to operate as long as they comply with the rules for workplaces and gatherings.
The complete order can be found on the city’s website by visiting detroitmi.gov. It will remain in effect until any further declarations by Fair or until she “has certified that the COVID-19 epidemic has abated,” according to the order.
Detroit’s COVID-19 infection rate is 1.8% compared to a 3.4% infection rate for the Southeast Michigan region and 3.5% for the state as a whole, Fair said Friday. Detroiters currently test positive for COVID-19 at half the rate of the rest of Michigan, she said.
“In the last week, we’ve heard from a lot of businesses who have questioned what the court’s ruling meant to them and so the answer is simple. We are going to follow the governor’s orders and what this means for Detroiters, it means that we’re going to keep the same procedures in place,” Fair said.
Detroit was at one point a state hotspot for the spread COVID-19, which took the lives of hundreds of Detroiters. Case numbers and deaths have since dropped, according to data from the state health department.
“We have to remain on the course and we have to remain vigilant,” Fair said.
Clement “Fame” Brown, owner of Three Thirteen clothing store in Detroit said his business will continue providing free masks to customers and require they wear them.
“The safety measures — especially when it comes to retail — they don’t impact the business negatively, when it comes to sales. As long as our customers know that they’re safe, know that we have a clean establishment and put them first, I think they’ll shop with this,” he said Friday.
The Detroit Means Business program will be providing free masks and gloves to small businesses starting Oct. 21, Duggan said. For more information on free PPE distribution and additional information about the order visit detroitmeansbusiness.org.
The city’s announcement arrives as local governments navigate mask and social distancing requirements amid the state Supreme Court ruling. Oakland County and Wayne County have issued local orders although Macomb County has not.
Another seven COVID-19 deaths were also confirmed Friday bringing Michigan’s death toll to 6,876, according to the state health department. This also includes 14,454 probable cases and 324 probable deaths, for a total of 146,493 cases and 7,193 deaths.
Michigan coronavirus cases:Tracking the pandemic
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