Michigan’s business community is vowing to keep safety “a top priority” for customers after the state of emergency ends. Here’s how.
LANSING, MI — Michigan’s Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency orders, declaring that the state’s highest elected executive official acted outside of the bounds of her authority when she instituted lifesaving coronavirus protections.
Soon, masks and other preventative measures to help slow the pandemic’s spread will no longer be required across the state. But Michigan’s business community is speaking out about the importance of protecting customers and themselves until the pandemic is over.
“I understand that they [the Court] have to accommodate people in other parts of Michigan,” said Janet Webster Jones, owner of Source Booksellers in Detroit. “But we want people to wear masks and we have a sanitation station at the door.”
The latest data released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) shows that Detroit alone makes up 14,500 of Wayne County’s 33,200 confirmed coronavirus cases.
Required masks are a safety precaution that Jen Eastridge also plans to continue to practice for her Ypsilanti business.
“We are definitely adopting a mask requirement until further notice, regardless of what is overturned,” she told The ‘Gander. “Our top priority is the health and safety of everyone, staff and customers included.”
Filling the Void
Cities with dense populations like Flint and Grand Rapids have been especially hard hit by the virus with some 4,000 and 9,000 cases confirmed in Genesee and Kent Counties, respectively.
Elected officials throughout the state are flexing their own executive powers in response to the Supreme Court’s decision. Oakland County Executive David Coulter is requiring masks throughout Michigan’s second-largest county. And many businesses across the state are requiring customers and employees to wear masks, despite the lack of judicial support.
“Health and science experts agree that facial coverings are critical to controlling the virus,” Coulter said. “We have come too far to backslide now especially as we want to get kids back to school and our economy moving again.”
Oakland County expects its mask requirement to help keep residents and visitors safe while in public.
“In Oakland County, masks will continue to be mandatory by order of our health experts,” Coulter said. “I am confident that our residents and businesses will continue to keep each other safe and protected.”
Gov. Whitmer is encouraging Michiganders to remain vigilant in their protection against the virus, writing, in part, that she knows “this is hard” for residents on Twitter.
“I know it will be an adjustment,” Gov. Whitmer’s statement read. “But we can’t let our guard down. COVID-19 is still a real threat to our families and frontline workers. The virus doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, a Republican or a Democrat, young or old. Let’s all be smart and stay safe.”