Michigan businesses required to enforce new mask mandate

Violations could result in a $500 fine

Gov. Whitmer signs order requiring masks be worn indoor and some outdoor
Gov. Whitmer signs order requiring masks be worn indoor and some outdoor

DETROIT – With new cases of COVID-19 rising, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new Executive Order requiring Michiganders to wear masks in indoor public spaces and some outdoor public spaces.

Executive Order 2020-147 reiterates that individuals are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space. It also requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces, where you cannot maintain proper social distancing.

Additionally, businesses are required to refuse entry to people who do not wear a mask. A willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 fine.

The order was issued Friday, just before 612 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were announced by the state -- the highest one-day total since May.

Whitmer told Local 4 she’s making it clear that she expects business owners and the people who work there to enforce the new order on masks.

She said not wearing a mask is a red flag for anyone wanting to get back to normal.

“I don’t want to close things down again,” Whitmer said. “This is an effort to avoid that.”

Business owners said they’re concerned for their staff being asked to be the mask police. Many Metro Detroit restaurant workers said they take the brunt of abuse from angry customers.

When asked to speak directly to workers who are concerned for their safety, Whitmer said ‘You are doing the right thing.”

Police will step in when someone is being kicked out of a business and refuses to leave.

“We want people to step up and keep COVID-19 from growing,” Whitmer said.

Michigan businesses required to enforce new mask mandate
Michigan businesses required to enforce new mask mandate

Businesses and their workers are still concerned about the situation. A delivery driver did not want to put a mask on Friday inside Jim Brady’s in Royal Oak, many customers simply refuse to wear a mask as they walk in.

Some customers were questioning why it seems like so many are fighting to wear a mask, putting businesses and their staff in the middle.

“I’m not here to debate it. This is the law, this is what I’m required to do,” said owner Tom Brady. “You either choose to put the mask on or you got to choose to leave my building right now.”

About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.