Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued long-awaited guidance on the reopening of workplaces that have been limited during the pandemic. The Vacc to Normal challenge uses four vaccination based milestones (using data of Michiganders 16 years and older who have received their first vaccine dose) as a guide to future steps required to get back to normal. These are:
- Two weeks after 55% of Michigan’s eligible population receive their first dose of the vaccine, in-person work for all sectors of business will be allowed. Currently, Michigan’s Remote Work Policy provides that employers are to direct employees to work at home “to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.”
- Two weeks after 60% of Michigan’s eligible population receive their first dose of the vaccine:
- Indoor capacity at sports stadiums are lifted to 25%
- Indoor capacity at conference/banquet halls increases to 25%
- Indoor capacity at exercise facilities and gyms increases to 50%
- Curfews on bars and restaurants are lifted.
- Two weeks after 65% of Michigan’s eligible population receive their first dose of the vaccine:
- All indoor capacity limits are lifted, requiring only social distancing between parties
- Relaxes limits on residential social gatherings
- Two weeks after 65% of Michigan’s eligible population receive their first dose of the vaccine, Michigan will remove the gatherings and face masks order.
As of this writing, according to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan’s vaccination rate is at 50%, which means work may return to “normal” relatively soon. Employers welcoming their employees back should have the policies in place to resume work safely; plans on how they will address vaccine hesitant workers; and how to handle workers reluctant to return to work after working remotely for a year. If your company is planning to return to work, and needs counsel on these or related issues, please contact me at [email protected].