A new set of three-week COVID restrictions takes place in Michigan on Wednesday, November 18th.  The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services states:  “Bars and restaurants will be open for outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery only. Gyms will remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place. Casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes will be closed. Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators, however all other organized sports must stop. Colleges and high schools may proceed with remote learning, but must end in-person classes.”

Regarding what takes place in your home, the department states: “…indoor residential gatherings are limited to two households at any one time. However, MDHHS strongly urges families to pick a single other household to interact with over the next three weeks, consistent with new guidance released by the department.”   If you click on the highlighted phrase, you will read about “pods.”  

“Gatherings are prohibited at the following facilities unless the facility maintains accurate records, including date and time of entry, names of patrons, and contact information, to aid with contact tracing, and denies entry for a gathering to any visitor who does not provide, at a minimum, their name and phone number:  (1) All businesses or operations that provide barbering, cosmetology services, body art services (including tattooing and body piercing), tanning services, massage services, or similar personal care services;  (2) Exercise facilities.”

Each phase of restrictions are complicated with additional requirements.  To read the entire order, please click here.  For the press release, click here. 

Included in the order are two sets of penalties.  One is six months in jail and a $200 fine.  A second reads “Violations of this order are also punishable by a civil fine of up to $1,000 for each violation or day that a violation continues.” The order states “Law enforcement officers, as defined in the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards Act, 1965 Public Act 203, MCL 28.602(f), are deemed to be ‘department representatives’ for purposes of enforcing this order, and are specifically authorized to investigate potential violations of this order.”