Governor Mandates Any Business Reopening to Develop a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, Among other Requirements


With Executive Order 2020-77, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer permitted manufacturing to reopen as of May 11th, though many plants announced that they would not be prepared to do so until May 18th.  Prior to this latest iteration of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Orders, other industries—such as lawn care, construction, real estate, and other select industries—have also been permitted to reopen.  But, there are certain requirements for those who do.   

Any business reopening in-person work must, at a minimum:

  1. Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan;
  2. Restrict the number of workers present on-premises to no more than is strictly necessary;
  3. Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible;
  4. Keep workers and patrons who are on-premises at least six feet from one another;
  5. Require masks to be worn when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation;
  6. Increase standards of facility cleaning and disinfection;
  7. Adopt policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19;
  8. Adopt any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the CDC.

Construction companies have additional requirements as to how on-site work must be conducted, including daily screenings.  Manufacturing companies also have additional requirements, including daily screening, training workers, staggering shifts and start times, and implementing other protocols.  And, as we’ve all experienced, retail stores have their own requirements.

The COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan that every company must develop must be consistent with recommendations in the Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”).  Preparedness and Response Plans must be available at company headquarters or the worksite.  For businesses with multiple locations (or perhaps working out of their headquarters and also at a worksite or multiple worksites), we recommend keeping the Plan at each location.

In order to be consistent with OSHA’s guidance, when companies are developing their COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plans, they should:

  • Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan
  • Describe Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Develop Policies and Procedures for Prompt Identification and Isolation of Sick People, if Appropriate
  • Develop, Implement, and Communicate about Workplace Flexibilities and Protections
  • Implement Workplace Controls
  • Consider Use and Provision of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Follow All Other CDC Guidelines and Those Requirements Set Forth in EO 2020-77

Not all steps will be necessary for every company, and some may not be possible for your business.  Though businesses that are at increased or high risk for exposure to the Coronavirus, more stringent plans will need to be implemented.  These are general plan categories, with more complex and detailed policies to be fleshed out.  Your company should develop and implement a plan that is suitable for it, that protects your employees, and that reasonably can be followed. 

For over the past month, Butzel Long has been assisting its clients to develop, draft, and implement Preparedness and Response Plans.  If you need assistance drafting an appropriate plan before your company goes back to work—whether this coming Monday or at any time thereafter—contact any of the authors listed below.  We will be happy to assist your company to be prepared, to plan ahead, and to comply with the Governor’s latest Executive Order. 

Justin G. Klimko

Paul Mersino

Bernie Fuhs

Brett Miller

Jennifer Dukarski

Mitch Zajac

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