State workers who can do their jobs remotely are being told to stay home longer while Michigan gets the spread of COVID-19 under control.
Office workers were supposed to head back to their offices May 1st. Now they’re being told to expect TO work remotely through at least mid-July.
That instruction from the Office of the State Employer comes as Michigan tries to wrestle down troubling COVID numbers, including a surge in cases, and as vaccines become available to everyone aged 16 and older.
“It’s obviously safer to stay at home as long as you can until we get these vaccines rolled out, until we see these numbers move in the right direction,” said spokesman Kurt Weiss.
The order applies to about half of the state’s 48-thousand-person workforce.
The instruction does not apply to public safety personnel such as state troopers, corrections officers and others who can’t do their jobs remotely. People who do head into the office are expected to comply with masking and other safety rules.
Weiss said it’s still possible for analysts and other office workers to do their jobs from home, even if it’s not optimal. He also said there are no guarantees the work-from-order won’t be extended beyond the new July 12th date.
"Is there a chance it gets bumped again? There probably is, but if the vaccine continues to roll out like we think it is, and if these numbers start to move in the direction that we think they’re going to, and things are going to get better,” he said. “I think July 12th date might be a reasonable return-to-work date.”