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Politics & Government

Gov. Whitmer extends COVID-19 state of emergency, worker protections

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
michigan.gov
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Friday extended her executive order declaring a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic through September 4.

“We are in a crucial time in our fight against COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis from a second wave,” says Whitmer.

The governor says every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new cases over the past several weeks and the statewide positivity rate has also increased, from a low of 2% in mid-June to 3.5% in late July.

The governor has also extended protections for Michigan workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Whitmer’s executive order prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who stay home when they or their close contacts are sick.

The order applies to Michigan workers who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms, including fever difficulty breathing and recent loss of taste or smell.

Whitmer says it’s vital that Michigan employees feel empowered to choose to stay home if they, or someone they have been in contact with is sick. Under the order, employers must treat employees who stay home when they are sick as if he or she were taking medical leave.

“As we have reengaged sectors of our economy, and in turn put thousands of Michiganders back to work, it is still vital that employees feel empowered to make the right choice to say home if they, or someone they have been in contact with is sick,” says Whitmer.

To date, more than 85,000 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19. More than 6,000 have died of the disease.

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