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Dec 2020
18
December 18, 2020

Further Extension and Modification of the Gatherings and Face Mask Order

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (Department) has updated the Gatherings and Face Mask Order (New Order). The December 7, 2020, Gatherings and Face Mask Order (Prior Order) has been modified and extended to January 15, 2021. The New Order is effective on Monday, December 21, 2020. 
 
While indoor residential gatherings remain limited to 10 people and two households and restaurants remain closed for indoor dining, certain indoor activities where individuals can remain masked are now permitted. These indoor activities include in-person learning at high schools and some indoor entertainment venues. Casinos, bowling centers and movie theatres will be allowed to reopen with total capacity capped at 100. However, all food and drink concessions must remain closed and social distancing requirements must be followed.
 
Gathering Restrictions for Entertainment Facilities.
 
The New Order permits gatherings at “lower risk entertainment facilities” and “lower risk recreational facilities” which are: 

  • Auditoriums, arenas, cinemas, concert halls, performance venues, sporting venues, stadiums and theaters; and

  • Recreational facilities where there is no physical contact among participants, there is minimal interaction between households participating in activities and masks can be worn; and, if indoors, activities involve a low degree of exhalation or physical exertion. This includes: archery ranges, amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, casinos and gun ranges. 

Specifically excluded from the definition of lower risk recreational facilities are laser tag, night clubs, strip clubs, water parks and trampoline parks. 
 
The requirements for gatherings at “lower risk entertainment facilities” and “lower risk recreational facilities” are: 

  • Organizers must not permit persons to mingle with others from outside of their household;

  • Household groups consist of no more than six persons;

  • Households are spaced or seated at least six feet apart;

  • No food or beverages are sold or consumed on the premises;

  • Venues comply with the following capacity limits:

    • For venues with fixed seating, occupancy must not exceed 20% of the limits established by the state fire marshal or a local fire marshal;

    • For venues with non-fixed seating, occupancy is limited to 20 persons per 1,000 square feet, including within any distinct space within the venue;

    • For all venues, no more than 100 persons may be gathered within any distinct space within the venue, except at stadiums and arenas hosting sporting events as provided in section 6, in which case up to 250 persons may be gathered.

Reopened indoor entertainment venues are not required to collect names and contact information.
 
Education
 
In-person instruction of pupils in prekindergarten through grade 12 (as opposed to through grade eight as in the Prior Order) is permitted for public, nonpublic and boarding schools for the purpose of conducting in-person instruction, subject to local health department and school district decisions on remote learning.
 
In-person classes and other events sponsored by the educational institution are permitted at colleges and universities, trade schools and career schools. The limitations on gathering capacity imposed by the New Order do not apply to such gatherings, but such gatherings remain subject to all other applicable requirements of the New Order (such as the requirement for face coverings). 
 
Outdoor Exercise
 
Gyms remain open for individual exercise indoors with strict safety measures in place. Outdoor group fitness and outdoor non-contact sports are permitted. This includes running, downhill skiing and cross-country skiing.
 
Organized Sports
 
Extracurricular activities are permitted at public, nonpublic and boarding schools except those activities that involve physical contact among participants, a high degree of exhalation or physical exertion indoors or where masks cannot be worn. 
 
Indoor organized sports and contact organized sports are prohibited unless all participants, teams and venues comply with the enhanced testing regimen specified in the Additional Mitigation Measures for Safer Athletic Practice and Play without the use of Face Coverings section of MDHHS guidance on Additional Measures for Safer Athletic Practice and Play, or a school is participating in a MDHHS testing pilot program. Sports organizers complying with the New Order may host gatherings for the purpose of practice and competition.
 
Helpful Links
 
In addition, below are links to various summaries issued by the MDHHS:

You can also find information at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
 
The state’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccine is available here: Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.
 
Warner continues to follow COVID-19 updates. For additional information or questions about the New Order or any COVID-19-related issues, please contact a member of our COVID-19 service team: Michael Azzi, Amanda Fielder, Monique Field-Foster, Matthew Johnson or Ford Turrell.

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