Indoor, In-Person Public Meetings Remain Prohibited Through At Least March 29, 2021
February 11, 2021
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), in coordination with Governor Whitmer, issued an updated Gatherings and Face Mask Order on February 4, 2021. The order, which took effect on February 8, 2021, is focused on resuming certain contact and non-contact sporting events. However, it also serves to extend the prior gathering restrictions that have effectively prevented public bodies from conducting indoor, in-person meetings. The restrictions will remain in effect until at least March 29, 2021.
Gatherings and Public Meetings
As a reminder, indoor gatherings at non-residential venues are limited to 10 or fewer persons from two or fewer households. Because most public meetings will include persons from more than two households, such public meetings would violate the limitation on indoor gatherings.
Public meetings may be held outdoors if there are fewer than 25 attendees or 20 attendees per 1,000 square feet, whichever is less. Attendees should be separated by at least six feet and wear a mask.
Public meetings should continue to be held virtually utilizing an electronic platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The platform must allow for two-way communications between the members of the public and the members of the public body. Meetings must be properly noticed; this includes publishing the notice on the public body’s website homepage at least 18 hours before the meeting is scheduled. The notice should also include an explanation why the public body is meeting electronically; how the members of the public, including persons with disabilities, are able to participate; and how members of the public may contact members of the public body to give input or ask any questions related to the business before the public body. The meeting agenda must be posted online at least two hours before the meeting begins.
Please contact your Foster Swift attorney or a member of our Municipal Practice Group for more information on how to properly notice and conduct a virtual meeting or for any other questions related to the MDHHS order.