Gov. Whitmer says Michigan businesses can’t assume unmasked customers have medical justification

Public safety officers must also wear masks

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with a cloth mask. (Uncredited)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer strengthened her mask rules Friday, most notably saying that businesses can’t assume unmasked customers have medical justification for entering without a mask and must ask them to confirm.

READ: Here are the 5 exceptions to Whitmer’s COVID-19 mask rules

Executive Order 2020-153 clarified Whitmer’s previous mask order.

The new order also requires public safety officers to wear face coverings unless that would seriously interfere with doing their jobs.

“Wearing a mask is the right thing to do to protect our families, our businesses and our economy,” Whitmer said. “If everyone in Michigan masks up, we can save thousands of lives and put ourselves in a better position to send our kids back to school in the fall. For the safety of our loved ones and our dedicated first responders on the front lines, mask up, Michigan.”

“COVID-19 is far from over -- people are still getting sick and dying,” said Katie Scott, RN, vice president of the Michigan Nurses Association. “As a nurse, I’m worried that many people are not taking the pandemic seriously enough. Don’t wait until COVID-19 happens to you or a loved one to take action. Wearing a mask is a simple step that protects everyone.”

Here are the five exceptions to Whitmer’s face covering rules:

  • Children younger than five years old.
  • People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.
  • People who are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment.
  • People who are exercising in a way in which wearing a face covering would interfere in the activity.
  • Voters at a polling place to vote in an election.

Over the past two weeks, every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new coronavirus cases, and daily case counts now exceed 20 cases per million in all but one region in the state.

More coverage

Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:



Individual stories:


About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.