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Michigan Retailers Association concerned about enforcing mask order

Violations could result in a $500 fine

DETROIT – New rules about masks will take effect in Michigan at midnight Monday.

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.

Businesses are expected to deny service to those that refuse.

July 11, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 68,948; Death toll now at 6,067

As store and restaurant owners grapple with enforcing the new order on masks, the state’s largest association of retailers is criticizing the order and hoping Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will reconsider.

The Michigan Retailers Association came out strongly against the order requiring businesses to enforce the mask requirements.

Spokesperson Meegan Holland said the MRA had been working with Whitmer’s officer in hopes of a more strict mask order that would involve law enforcement. Holland pointed to the killing of of Calvin Munerlyn, who was shot at a Family Dollar store after asking a customer to wear a mask in May.

As a result, the MRA started hosting law enforcement style de-escalation training for employers worried about their employees.

“Part of the problem is that sales associates aren’t trained to do this kind of enforcement,” Holland said. “They aren’t paid enough to do this kind of enforcement.”

Whitmer said this week, the order is meant to answer concerns of business owners.

“We’ve talked to a lot of businesses and they’ve actually asked for this because there’s been enough room for interpretation,” Whitmer said. “The ambiguity gave people reason to think they shouldn’t have to wear a mask. You should be wearing a mask.”

The MRA is hoping she reconsiders and has a message for frustrated customers.

“If you’re against wearing a mask, don’t take it out on a store. They are not the ones who are ordering this,” Holland said. “They are the ones who are being tasked with the enforcement of it.

The MRA said they are looking into holding more online de-escalation training sessions for retailers looking to help their employees, but no date has been set yet.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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