Michigan Mask Rule Now In Effect — Here's What You Need To Know

WWJ News
April 27, 2020 - 12:14 pm

(WWJ) Beginning at 12:01 a.m. today, Michiganders are required to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.

Under the new rule — part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's latest stay-home executive order — everyone is told to wear some type of face covering when entering grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses that remain open amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

People do not have to wear face coverings when they take a walk, but when they go inside pretty much anywhere other than their homes, they should be wearing one.

"Any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth — such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief — when in any enclosed public space," the order explicitly states.

Under the order, medical-grade N95 masks and surgical masks should generally be reserved for health care professionals, first responders and other critical workers, at least for now while they are in short supply.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T WEAR ONE? 

Gov. Whitmer says you will not get a ticket or be arrested for not following this particular directive.

"No one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask, but face covering is crucial to protecting the public, and our critical employees," the governor said, at a news conference.

WHAT ABOUT BUSINESSES?

Whitmer said that businesses may refuse service to people who don't have their faces covered. 

Also, the order says people who have to go to work during the pandemic should not have to find or buy their own masks. Employers are required to provide masks, or something, for their employees to wear.

"All businesses and operations whose workers perform in-person work must, at a minimum, provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers," the order states.

Executive Order 2020-59, like two previous versions of the stay-home order, is designed to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,300 people and infected more than 37,000 people in the state. 

Other than getting ahold of a mask, WWJ's Zach Clark noted another practical problem some people are having, and asked for tips.  "If anybody can tell me how to not have my glasses fog up, that would be terrific," Clark said. "Somebody told me...a piece of Kleenex on the nose will do it." 

The order is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2020.