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Governor Whitmer Moves to Reopen Construction and Real Estate with Updated Stay-At-Home Order
May 4, 2020
Last Friday, Governor Whitmer updated, but did not extend, the “stay-at-home” order. Under Executive Order 2020-70 (“EO 2020-70”), construction work, work that is traditionally performed outdoors, and real-estate work may resume beginning May 7, 2020. All work must be performed in accordance with the enhanced social distancing and mitigation methods contained in the order. The remainder of the stay-home-order remains in effect through May 15 and certain public accommodations are to remain closed through May 28.
Workers Exempt from the Stay-At-Home Order
EO 2020-70 does not impose additional restrictions on which workers may currently work in-person. Currently, in-person work may only be engaged in by:
- Critical Infrastructure Workers, including their suppliers, distributors, and service providers;
- Workers who process and fulfill remote orders for pick-up or delivery;
- Workers in bicycle maintenance or repair shops;
- Landscapers and workers for garden stores, nurseries, and pest control;
- Workers that maintain the safety and sanitation of outdoor recreation areas not closed by any other Executive Order; and
- Workers for moving or storage operations.
In addition to that list, beginning on May 7, the following workers may perform work in-person:
- Work that is traditionally performed and primarily performed outdoors, including, but not limited to, forestry workers, outdoor power equipment workers, and parking enforcement workers;
- Construction industry work, including those in building trades such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and similar workers;
- Workers necessary to manufacture goods that support workplace modifications that help forestall the spread of COVID-19; and
- Real-estate industry work, including agents, appraisers, brokers, inspectors, surveyors, and register of deeds.
Workers in bullet points 4 through 10 must prohibit gatherings of any size where people cannot maintain six feet of distance, limit in-person interaction between clients and patrons, provide personal protective equipment as appropriate, and adopt protocols that limit the sharing of tools and equipment.
Real estate workers must perform showings, inspections, appraisals, photography or videography, or final walk-throughs by appointment only. There should be no more than four people on the premises at any one time, and in-person open houses are not permitted. These private showings are allowed for owner-occupied homes, vacant land, commercial property, and industrial property.
Construction companies must follow an additional 11 safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19:
- Designate a site-specific supervisor to monitor and oversee COVID-19 control strategies. They must be on-site at all times.
- Conduct daily screenings, including a questionnaire for symptoms of and exposure to COVID-19 and, if possible, a temperature screening. Companies should document and keep responses to the questionnaire and any temperatures taken.
- Create dedicated entry points for the daily screening. If this is not possible, issue indicators each day to show workers have received screening before entering the worksite.
- Require masks or face shields for workers that cannot consistently be 6 or more feet apart.
- Provide instructions for distributing personal protective equipment and designate a location on-site for used masks.
- Encourage or require use of gloves to prevent skin contact with contaminated or frequently touched surfaces.
- Control access to identified choke points or high risk areas (areas where workers must be near each other, like a hallway or break room) and control access to and use of the area.
- Provide sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations.
- Subcontractors should notify the contractor of any confirmed COVID-19 workers at the worksite. Contractors should notify the owners.
- Restrict movement between project sites.
- Create protocols for minimizing personal contract for deliveries to the worksite.
Social Distancing and Mitigation Measures Required at all Businesses
Any business performing in-person work must:
- Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan;
- Restrict the number of workers to only those strictly necessary to perform the allowable in-person work;
- Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible;
- Keep workers and patrons at least 6 feet from each other;
- Increase facility cleaning and disinfection standards;
- Adopt cleaning and disinfection protocols in case of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace;
- Adopt policies to prevent workers from reporting to work if they have respiratory symptoms or contact with a COVID-19 positive person;
- Adopt all CDC social distancing practices and mitigation measures.
If you or your business needs any assistance developing the enhanced social distancing policies or COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan as required by this order, please contact your Foster Swift attorney or a member of Foster Swift’s Coronavirus Task Force:
While the information in this article is accurate at time of publication, the laws and regulations surrounding COVID-19 are constantly evolving. Please consult your attorney or advisor to make sure you have the most up to date information before taking action.