YPSILANTI, MI – As COVID invades the state for the third time, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) will extend office restrictions for up to six months, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced following a visit to a Ypsilanti vaccination clinic.
“With our high positivity numbers, it’s really important to extend for another six months so that we have the ability to work on what these protocols look like and bring people back to the workplace when it’s safe to do so. do with the right protocols, ”Whitmer says.
The rules require office workers and those who can perform their work remotely to stay away from their desks, except when working remotely is not possible.
The workplace emergency guidelines set by MIOSHA will expire on Wednesday, April 14, but will be extended for six months, Whitmer said.
“I know when we extend them, which we do, people are going to think you can’t go to the office for another six months and you can’t,” Whitmer said.
State law allows MIOSHA to once again extend the emergency rule set – up to six months.
The state is working with business leaders as well as public health experts to understand what returning to work looks like and when a return is possible, Whitmer said.
In March, Whitmer announced that the state would create a task force to decide how best to rehire office workers.
Some Michigan business leaders have spent the past month calling for offices to reopen, saying the office restrictions put small businesses, jobs and the economy at risk.
Business leaders of the “Safely Reopen Michigan” campaign have said that office spaces are among the most secure and low-risk environments.
Extending 6-month office ban would be bad for Michigan, business leaders say
MIOSHA cited 201 companies of all types for failing to follow COVID-19 protocols during the pandemic, however, the agency reports that more than 95% of inspections did not lead to citations.
State data shows that offices have contributed to nine ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. In March, office outbreaks exceeded outbreaks that occurred in retail stores and restaurants, but far less than in schools and manufacturing / construction spaces.
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