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Michigan reopens manufacturing today -- with some big changes

Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler will open May 18

An auto plant
An auto plant

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced last week that she has reopened manufacturing, including the Big Three automakers -- Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler -- starting Monday.

Manufacturing workers can return to the job Monday (May 11), Whitmer said. Automakers don’t plan on resuming for another week.

Manufacturing companies are required to take steps to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19, which includes daily entry screenings for everyone entering the facility, a questionnaire covering symptoms and exposure to people with possible COVID-19 and temperature checks as soon as no-touch thermometers can be obtained.

Companies must also create dedicated entry points at every facility and suspend entry of all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.

MORE: Whitmer unveils new coronavirus response plan for Michigan

“Throughout this worldwide crisis, Gov. Whitmer has been a leading voice to make sure that scientific data and the health and safety of all Michiganders was the priority in managing pandemic decisions," UAW President Rory Gamble said in a statement. "Gov. Whitmer has at all times been inclusive and focused on building consensus to do what is right for the health and safety of UAW members and all of Michigan’s working men and women. The UAW will continue to have dialogue and aggressively pursue all avenues over the health and safety of our members, their families and their communities as we cautiously go into our next phase of battling this pandemic while worksites reopen.”

“Gov. Whitmer has brought together leaders in business and labor to ensure our workers can return to the job safely," said John Walsh, President and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. "The safety of our workers is our top priority and I am confident that Michigan manufacturers are prepared to deliver on the worker protections included in today’s order. We believe the manufacturing industry has a big role to play in Michigan’s economic recovery and we’re ready to lead the way. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the governor to bring the manufacturing industry back up to full strength.”

Manufacturing facilities must train workers on how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, signs and symptoms of COVID-19, steps they have to take to notify the business about signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the use of personal protective equipment.

All businesses in the state -- including manufacturers -- will require masks when workers can’t consistently maintain six feet of separation from others, and consider face shields for those who cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other workers.


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