As if the mask debate wasn’t already raging throughout the state of Michigan, Governor Whitmer has signed a new Executive Order that clarifies mask-wearing within the state, the new executive order is to strengthen the previous order.
According to the Governor's new Executive Order, it clarifies that businesses aren’t allowed to just assume that any customers without a face mask aren’t wearing them because they medically cannot tolerate a face covering. That means that if you walk into a store without a face mask on you will be questioned, but stores will still be able to accept a customer's verbal response that they can’t wear a mask. The new order also states that public safety officers are required to wear a mask unless it would interfere with their current situation or affect their job responsibilities and safety.
The other big change is that a mask isn’t required at a polling place, for when you go to vote, but is strongly encouraged. Meaning a face mask isn’t standing in your way to having your voice heard.
Other exceptions to the face mask order, although still strongly encouraged, are:
(a) Are younger than five years old (and, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), children under the age of two should not wear a mask);
(b) Cannot medically tolerate a face covering;
(c) Are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment;
(d) Are exercising when wearing a face covering would interfere with the activity;
(e) Are receiving a service for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary;
(f) Are entering a business or are receiving a service and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes;
(g) Are communicating with someone who is deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication;
(h) Are actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel, and where wearing a mask would seriously interfere in the performance of their public safety responsibilities;
(i) Are at a polling place for purposes of voting in an election;
(j) Are officiating at a religious service; or
(k) Are giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience, provided that the audience is at least six feet away from the speaker.
For clarity, according to the Governor’s latest order, these are the times you should have a mask on,
1. Any individual who leaves their home or place of residence must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth:
(a) When in any indoor public space;
(b) When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; and
(c) When waiting for or riding on public transportation, while in a taxi or ridesharing vehicle, or when using a private car service as a means of hired transportation.