New Executive Order in Michigan
This order moves Region 8 of Michigan, comprising the Upper Peninsula, to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. For March, April, and the first part of June, Region 8 had some of Michigan’s lowest COVID-19 case rates, percent positivity, and mortality rates. Beginning in mid-June, case rates began to slowly climb and remain at an elevated level through the middle of September, when they began to sharply rise. For the past few weeks, the case rates in many counties in Region 8 have been among the highest in the state. Positivity has also been rising despite increased testing numbers, which indicates significant spread of infection. For example, looking back 7 days to take into account data lag, Houghton County is reporting 612.9 absolute cases per million; Menominee County is reporting 455.0 absolute cases per million; Delta County is reporting 675.0 absolute cases per million; and Mackinac County is reporting 79.2 absolute cases per million. The statewide case rate is 75.9 absolute cases per million.
To address this climb, we must heighten our vigilance and strengthen our efforts to mitigate the virus’s spread in this region. Accordingly, I find that it is reasonable and necessary to move Region 8 into Phase 4, where a majority of the state currently stands. This move will take effect on October 9, 2020, to give businesses, schools, and individuals in that region ample time to prepare and adjust, but I urge everyone to make this transition as swiftly as possible. Region 6, which has not displayed a comparable climb at this time, remains in Phase 5.
Acting under the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I find it reasonable and necessary, for the reasons outlined above, to order the following amendments to Executive Order 2020-183 (Safe Start) and Executive Order 2020-184 (Safeguards to protect Michigan’s workers from COVID-19). While Executive Order 2020-142 (Provision of preK– 12 education for the 2020–2021 school year, as amended by Executive Order 2020-185) does not require amendment, the move of Region 8 to Phase 4 impacts the policies and procedures that schools in that region must follow under the terms of that order.
1. Amendments to Executive Order 2020-183. Executive Order 2020-183 is amended as follows:
-- (a) Section 1 is amended to provide: “Remote work. Except in Region 6, any work capable of being performed remotely (i.e., without the worker leaving his or her home or place of residence) must be performed remotely. Although not required, in Region 6, any work capable of being performed remotely should be performed remotely.”
-- (b) Section 6(b)(1) is amended to provide: “In cases where the gathering or event occurs in a venue with fixed seating, limit attendance to 20% of seating capacity (or 25% of seating capacity in Region 6);”
-- (c) Section 6(b)(2) is amended to provide: “Otherwise, limit attendance to 20 people per 1,000 square feet of venue space, including no more than 20 people per 1,000 square feet in each room (or 25 people per 1,000 square feet in Region 6);”
2. Amendment to Executive Order 2020-184. Section 6(c) of Executive Order 2020- 184 is amended to provide: “Except in Region 6, adhere to the following restrictions:”
3. This order is effective October 9, 2020 at 12:01 am.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan.
- Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Update from Houghton County
Effective Monday, October 2, 2020 at 8 a.m., in response to the large increase in COVID-19 positive cases, infectivity rates, the change in the Region 8 Safe Start status to Phase 4 (which is effective October 9, 2020) and discussion with the Courts the Houghton County Courthouse will be closed to the general public but will remain staffed and all essential services will continue.
If you have business to conduct with one of the offices in the Courthouse, we encourage you to call or email them directly or go to the Houghton County Website (houghtoncounty.net). In some cases, you may be able to make an appointment and enter the building.
The Houghton County Transfer Station will remain open to the public.
The community is again requested to follow the guidelines for masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing and assist when called upon for contact tracing.