May 15, 2021

Volume XI, Number 135


May 14, 2021

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May 13, 2021

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Michigan's Phased Reopening: Executive Orders 2020-91 and 2020-92

On May 18, 2020 Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Orders No. 2020-91 and 2020-92 which provide clarification regarding worker protection during the coronavirus pandemic and amendments to the Stay Home, Stay Safe order. The Stay Home, Stay Safe order now divides Michigan into eight separate regions, with different regions subject to differing reopening timelines based on their respective progress in the fight against COVID-19. Most notably, restaurants and retail stores in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are permitted to reopen beginning May 22 subject to certain restrictions.

Executive Order 2020-91

This order replaces what was formerly Section 11 of Executive Order 2020-77. Specifically, the new order provides for various workplace safety standards and enhanced enforcement of these rules.

Executive Order 2020-92

The new iteration of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order generally provides for the following changes:

  • Michigan is now divided into eight different regions, each of which is subject to its own timeline and schedule regarding phased reopening plans.

  • Beginning May 22, 2020 the following workers in certain areas of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula (i.e., Regions 6 and 8), are permitted to resume operations subject to the specified workplace standards:

    • Retail workers

    • Office workers performing work that is not able to be performed remotely

    • Restaurant and bar staff (at 50 percent capacity)

  • Any workers that are necessary to prepare a workplace to follow the standards described in Executive Order 2020-91 are deemed workers who perform resumed activities and may resume in-person work effective immediately.

  • The order does not limit the ability of cities, villages or townships to take a more cautious approach, such as limiting restaurants to outdoor seating.

  • The order does not permit the reopening of other places of public accommodation that have been closed pursuant to Executive Order 2020-69 (e.g., salons, theaters, libraries, etc.).

© 2021 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 140



About this Author

Seth W. Ashby, Varnum Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Corporate Planning Attorney, Private Equity Lawyer

Seth is a partner and member of the firm’s Business and Corporate Services Team. He is experienced in business representation, planning and counseling. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions, as well as private equity, securities, distressed asset and restructuring, and commercial transactions. Seth also advises clients with respect to corporate governance, regulatory and other general corporate matters.

Eric R. Post, Retail Manufacturing Lawyer, Varnum, Corporate & business attorney

Eric is a business and corporate attorney who advises startups, private and family-owned businesses, and multinational companies in the automotive, manufacturing, technology, retail and health care industries. His practice is focused on domestic and international mergers, stock and asset acquisitions, joint ventures, business entity formation, export and import compliance, international trade and a wide variety of general business matters, including commercial contracts, regulatory compliance, strategic and operational issues, and general corporate governance. Eric also advises his...

Ethan Beswick Business Attorney Varnum Law Firm

Ethan Beswick is an associate attorney with a business and corporate service practice and additional experience in tax, real estate and aircraft matters. He provides general business and transactional work and has experience in mergers and acquisitions, business transactions, financing, contracts, and day-to-day business issues.

Ethan also works regularly with business tax, international tax, and other tax related issues, and assists clients with real estate sales and acquisitions, commercial leasing matters, and real estate financing transactions.

 An instrument-rated...

Ashleigh E. Draft Associate Grand Rapids Labor & Employment

Ashleigh is an associate attorney currently working with the labor and employment group. She also works with higher education clients and provides support on a variety of litigation matters.

Ashleigh’s experience includes serving as a legal extern for the Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division. She also clerked for Michigan Appeals Court Judge Jane Beckering. Prior to law school, Ashleigh served organizations in the higher education and nonprofit sectors in various development and communications roles.