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Here’s Detroit Health Department’s New Citywide COVID-19 Order

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Image credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The order is meant to maintain consistency with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s now-disputed orders after the Michigan Supreme Court issued an advisory order declaring the 1945 law she was operating under unconstitutional.

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Detroit is issuing a new city-specific public health order for COVID-19.

The move is meant to cover the gap left by a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s authority over the pandemic. Detroit’s new coronavirus order continues many policies like limiting capacity in retail spaces and restaurants and mandating masks in public.

We can’t move forward unless all of you as Detroiters continue to follow the safety precautions.” — Denise Fair, Detroit public health director

Mayor Mike Duggan says Detroit’s positive infection rate is 1.8 percent, which is lower than surrounding communities. But he says the city needs to remain vigilant.

We’ve done a good job with our masks and our distancing but if an African American gets COVID-19, African-Americans are two to three times more likely to die of it than caucasians,” Duggan said.

Duggan says under state law, Detroit’s public health director has local authority to issue emergency orders prohibiting gatherings during a pandemic. City health officials say the order will remain in place until the pandemic is “sufficiently abated.”

According to a release from the city, the new order requires:

  • Face coverings — The order requires that appropriate face coverings must be worn at indoor and outdoor gatherings, and where that is not possible, social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained. Masks must be worn when using buses or other forms of public transportation
  • DDOT — Clear direction for passengers: No mask, no ride
  • Bars/restaurants/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
  • Gatherings – The order provides allowable gathering sizes, social distancing and mask requirements
  • Workplaces – The order provides masks must be worn, social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained, COVID-19 preparedness and response plans must be developed and remote work should be performed when possible
  • 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
  • Other Public Accommodations – Under the order, bowling alleys, theaters, gyms and other venues are allowed to operate so long as they comply with the rules for workplaces and gatherings

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Eli Newman, Reporter/Producer

Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops. Follow @other_eli

This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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