Duggan, Detroit Health Dept. adopt all of Gov. Whitmer's COVID-19 safety guidelines wiped out by court ruling

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Friday that the city's health department is adopting every COVID-19 health and safety-related order that was effectively shut down last week when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's COVID-19 executive authority. 

"We're going to take all those orders that you knew about last week and they're going to be in effect next week and the week after, no matter what the court does. So what we are doing is guaranteeing the Detroiters will have the protection of Gov. Whitmer's orders no matter what happens in the courts," Duggan said.

"The rules and restrictions remain virtually unchanged," Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said. 

"Here's the truth. If somebody in Detroit gets COVID-19 there's no helicopter coming to take you to Walter Reed Hospital for the latest, experimental treatment. we're going to have to act to protect each other," Duggan said.  

Duggan and Fair did acknowledge that Detroit has the lowest infection rate in the state right now: 1.8% compared to 3.4% in southeast Michigan and 3.5% across the whole state. 

"The epidemic is hitting the Upper Peninsula differently than it's hitting the Michigan State campus in East Lansing, different than it's hitting the suburbs of Farmington Hills, different than how it's hitting the City of Detroit. And that's why the public health code gives the local health director full powers to act in an emergency to cover this jurisdiction," Duggan said. 

Fair mentioned several points that will be enforced in her orders: 

  • Face coverings: if you leave home you must wear s face covering that covers both nose and mouth. She stressed that masks are required for any and every DDOT bus rider 
  • Bars, restaurants, nightclubs and casinos: capacity is still at 50% of normal seating as long as social distancing protocols are followed. Casino capacity is still limited to 15% 
  • Gathering: Indoor residential gatherings are allowed up to 10 people as long as each person wears face covering. Outdoor, up to 100 ppl at your home. For nonresidential, indoor no more than 20 people per 1,000 sq ft, max 500 people. For outdoor 20 ppl per 1,000 sq ft, max 1,000 people.
  • Workplaces: any work capable of being performed remotely is recommended to do so. COVID-19 preparedness plans must be prepared and adopted
  • K-12 schools: districts and non-public schools must continue to follow COVID-19 preparedness plans. Students and teachers must wear masks at all times. Schools must publicly report any probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases on school website within 24 hours 

Fair said the order will remain in effect until she certifies that the epidemic has sufficiently abated. You can see the full order here.

Duggan also mentioned that just last week three different nightclubs and restaurants were shut down for violating COVID-19 precautions. 

"I don't want any businesses wondering this weekend if, because of this legal issue in Lansing, that we are going to be any less diligent. If you are in violation this weekend we will come in and do the same thing again. We'll come in and visit you and ask you to deal with it yourself. And if you're unable to deal with it yourself we're going to basically pull your license until you prove that you can. This is your obligation as a business owner," Duggan said. 

Also, beginning Oct 21, the Detroit Means Business Program will be giving out free masks and gloves to small businesses. You can get more information on that at detroitmeansbusiness.org.