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COVID-19 Reopening Resources

Resources for Reopening

Several publications offering guidance on resuming business activity have been distributed - each, in their own way, may be useful in developing the creation of your organization's written preparedness and response plan, a requirement of Executive Order 2020-59:

Businesses, operations, and government agencies that continue in-person work must adhere to sound social distancing practices and measures, which include but are not limited to:

  1. Developing a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, consistent with recommendations in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and available here. Such plan must be available at company headquarters or the worksite.
  2. Restricting the number of workers present on premises to no more than is strictly necessary to perform the business’s, operation’s, or government agency’s critical infrastructure functions or its minimum basic operations.
  3. Promoting remote work to the fullest extent possible.
  4. Keeping workers and patrons who are on premises at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible.
  5. Increasing standards of facility cleaning and disinfection to limit worker and patron exposure to COVID-19, as well as adopting protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.
  6. Adopting policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  7. Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the CDC.

1/4/22: SBAM Issues New Preparedness and Response Plan Template

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) has issued an updated version of their template for a COVID-19 Response and Preparedness Plan with the new CDC guidance.

5/21/20: New Preparedness and Response Plan Template

Governor Whitmer has laid out regulations for employers to provide a comprehensive written COVID-19 Response & Preparedness Plan.

All businesses or operations that are permitted to require their employees to leave the homes or residences for work under Executive Order 2020-92, and any order that follows it, must, at a minimum:

Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, consistent with recommendations in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

By June 1, 2020, or within two weeks of resuming in-person activities, whichever is later, a business’s or operation’s plan must be made readily available to employees, labor unions, and customers, whether via website, internal network, or by hard copy.

The Small Business Association of Michigan has developed a very helpful and editable template for the development of this required plan.

Click to download the template.

12/17/21: US Court of Appeals Lifts Stay on OSHA Standard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard.  OSHA can now resume implementation of the standard, designed to protect the health of workers by mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the workplace.

Several challengers, including business trade groups, immediately indicated they planned to file or already had filed emergency motions with the Supreme Court to again block the rule.  While a timetable is not yet known, it appears likely that the Supreme Court will consider this issue prior to January 4, when the vaccine and testing portion of the rule takes effect.

Late Friday evening, the US Department of Labor announced that OSHA would offer some latitude on issuing citations for noncompliance as follows, posted on the OSHA website: To account for any uncertainty created by the stay, OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the compliance dates of the ETS. To provide employers with sufficient time to come into compliance, OSHA will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard. OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance.

As previously reported, the rule covers all employers with a total of 100 or more employees, with a few exceptions described in the links below. Covered employers must develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.

Click to view a fact sheet highlighting some of the ETS requirements.

Click to view the OSHA Summary of the standard.

Click to view a detailed FAQ page on the ETS requirements.

Click to view the full text of the standard.

OSHA has also provided employers with the two sample policies below to adapt for use in their organizations.

Click to view a sample mandatory vaccination policy.

Click to view a sample vaccination or testing and face covering policy.

8/12/21: MIOSHA Encourages Employers to Follow Updated CDC Guidance to Contain COVID-19

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is strongly encouraging Michigan employers to follow recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

"As transmission rates accelerate rapidly in many Michigan counties, Michigan employers should monitor the spread of COVID-19 in their local communities and follow the CDC's guiding principles for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people to ensure we are all doing our part to keep workplaces safe for employees and customers," said COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan.

To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people: 

  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission
  • Consider choosing to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.

Read the full press release for more information on the latest CDC guidance.

6/11/21: Updated OSHA Guidance for COVID-19

The federal Occupational Safety and Health and Administration (OSHA) issued updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace for non-healthcare employers and workers.  While many expected that OSHA would issue mandatory COVID-19 workplace safety rules for all industries, the agency limited its compulsory workplace safety rules to certain healthcare settings and elected merely to update its previously issued COVID-19 guidance for all other workplaces. 

Although OSHA’s Guidance does not establish any legal requirements, it is best practice to follow OSHA’s recommendations as if they are compulsory, whenever possible and appropriate.  Complying with this Guidance and OSHA’s other recommendations helps protect workers and lessen an employer’s potential exposure to liability.

Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent recommendations for fully vaccinated people, the Guidance provides that “unless otherwise required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their fully vaccinated workers who are not otherwise at-risk from COVID-19 exposure.”  For unvaccinated and other “at-risk” workers, such as people with conditions that may affect their ability to have a full immune response to vaccination, the Guidance recommends that these workers: get vaccinated; wear face coverings; socially distance from others; participate in workplace training about COVID-19 safety protocols; and practice good personal hygiene.


Adjusting to Life Back in the Office

An article from WorkforceGPS features resources identified with The Adapting to Change theme - addressing workforce challenges with changes in policy, procedures, and processes. Given the level of sustained COVID disruption, many organizations are midway through exploring hybrid approaches that combine on-site work and working from home - but we should remember we’re all navigating the challenges ahead from different perspectives.

Some people have flourished and thrived in WFH settings and are desperate to retain this, while others have found the erosion of work-life boundaries, the cumulative stress of co-parenting, co-working and co-habitation a challenge. For many people, their physical WFH spaces have been a mix of lonely isolation and competing for the sunny side of the kitchen table with flatmates. For others, it has been a tireless game of hide and seek as they look for an elusive quiet space to make a call, contribute to a Teams meeting or spend five uninterrupted minutes thinking through something. 
Regardless of which one of these experiences best describes your past 12 months, the length of COVID means habits have formed, behavioral patterns changed, and we are currently living in our new “normal”. Any movement from where we are now will bring with it all the trials and tribulations we encounter when navigating any transformational change in the workplace.

What comes next will be a challenge for many - click to view the WorkforceGPS article with suggestions for some of the key things to keep in mind.


4/9/21: Nonprofits and the Path Back to In-Person Operations

Although many staff and volunteers are eager to return to in-person operations, many questions need to be answered first. Can nonprofits require employees to be vaccinated? If vaccines can be required, should they be? With how much we’ve all learned about virtual volunteer opportunities, what does the future of volunteering look like? What messages are resonating as employers talk to employees about the importance of being vaccinated and continuing to mask up? To learn the answers to these and other questions, the National Council for Nonprofits hosted a national webinar recently to hear from experts in law, volunteerism, and messaging.

You can tune in to learn “What nonprofits need to know as staff and volunteers return from remote work to in-person operations.”

4/30/21: Employer Assistance and Resource Network

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) will host a webinar on "Getting Ahead of the Curve: Federal Guidance for Ensuring Safe, Healthy and Inclusive Workplaces during the COVID-19 Recovery" on April 30 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET.  “The webinar will explore ways employers can ensure safe and healthy workplaces for all workers, including those with disabilities, during the COVID-19 recovery.  Speakers will include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”  Register here

EARN has also created a checklist for mentally healthy workplaces.  The checklist offers (and links to) strategies for creating a mentally healthy work environment.

3/19/21: Return to Office Workgroup Formed

The State of Michigan recently formed the Return-to-Office Workgroup, consisting of business, labor, and public health experts, to provide Governor Gretchen Whitmer with concise recommendations that will be used to inform Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Epidemic Orders and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) Emergency Rules. Additionally, the group will establish standards and best practices for employers to use in planning their own phased reopening.

The advisory group will provide ongoing guidance and will meet weekly, beginning this week. The State of Michigan will also consult the Legislature regarding the phased-in return to in-person office work. According to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), an extension of the MIOSHA Emergency Rules is expected, consistent with a phased-in return based on guidance from the group, updated health data, and consultation with appropriate health experts. MIOSHA will soon begin the formal rulemaking process for COVID-19 workplace safety rules, aiming to accommodate a smooth transition back to in-person work.

Click to view a press release from LEO on the Return-to-Office Workgroup.

In case you missed it, Sean Egan, Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director, hosted a live Q & A about the new Return-to-Office Workgroup and answer your most pressing questions about the recommendations this workgroup will develop for a phased return to office work amidst the pandemic.

View the full video and the presentation for additional information.

11/18/20: MIOSHA Efforts to Keep Workers Safe

Businesses across the state can now schedule free COVID-19 safety consultations as a part of the new Ambassador program partnership with NSF International and MIOSHA. Ambassadors are conducting outreach to statewide businesses to offer education and support to implement regulations on workplace safety.

With the launch of the new State Emphasis Program (SEP) focusing on COVID-19 safety and health in offices, the MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division is reminding employers and employees that there is help and guidance available.

In case you missed it, Sean Egan, Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director, hosted a live MIOSHA Emergency Rules Q & A to answer your most pressing questions about the State Emphasis Program for offices and remote work policies amidst the pandemic.

View the full video and the presentation for additional information.

11/12/20: State emphasizes worker protections in offices, remote work policies

MIOSHA focuses efforts on protecting workers in traditional office settings

To further protect workers from the increased spread of COVID-19, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) launched a State Emphasis Program (SEP) focused on office settings that addresses the need for increased vigilance, education and enforcement on remote work policies. 

Workplaces continue to be a significant source of spread and outbreaks as Michigan battles COVID-19 throughout the state. On November 5, the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported 18 new outbreaks from the previous week tied to office settings and is continuing to track 21 outbreaks tied to offices previously reported. It is imperative that employers implement the mitigation strategies and promote remote work to alleviate potential outbreaks.  

“Workplace outbreaks are increasing along with the state’s community numbers,” said Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Sean Egan. “While employers are working hard to mitigate the spread, congregation of individuals whether at the workplace or a social gathering can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

In MIOSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Rules, employers are required to create a policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely. Under statute, MIOSHA can cite employers, require abatement, and fine them up to $7,000 for failing to produce a remote work policy or if the employer’s preparedness and response plan is non-compliant.

The focus of this SEP is to educate and seek compliance with guidelines and rules that will protect workers in office locations where community spread of COVID-19 is a risk. Under the Emergency Rules, employers must prohibit in-person work to the extent feasible to minimize the presence of individuals congregating in work settings where COVID-19 may spread. MDHHS also issued guidance last week including recommendations for remote work in office settings.

“Employers must prohibit in-person work when an employee’s duties can feasibly be completed away from the office. Remote work for office employees is a crucial mitigation strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “Some workplaces, including offices, seem to be lax on requiring certain protocols. As our numbers rise, all workplaces in Michigan must promote and continue remote work to the absolute maximum. Congregating in any setting leads to potential spread and remote work helps mitigate some degree of congregation.”

Read the full press release.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the new hotline at 855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219). 

To report health and safety concerns in the workplace, go to

Additional Virtual and Remote Service Resources

Recent events will continue to spur the need for rapid transitions to virtual and remote service delivery. This is a shared need across training providers, job developers, employers, and job seekers. While educators, businesses, students, and workers across the country find new and innovative ways to adapt to this need, the TechHire TA team has compiled resources to assist in identifying key approaches and strategies being utilized by organizations across the country.

The Workforce GPS website has added links to summaries from Peer Learning Group call discussions held in the first half of 2020 that explore virtual instruction and job placement strategies, as well as approaches to providing remote participants with supportive services.

Click to view the Workforce GPS page with links to helpful resources.

Legal Alert - Summary of Recent COVID-19 Statutes

Linked below for your convenience are the four (4) new Michigan statutes pertaining to COVID-19 that went into effect on Thursday, October 22, 2020.

House Bill 6030 provides immunity to employers from personal injury COVID claims provided the employers comply with all applicable laws, regulations, orders, etc. relating to COVID-19 precautions. Thus, if employers are complying with CDC guidance and all federal, state, and local required mitigation measures, they are protected from lawsuits if employees get COVID. 

House Bill 6031 and House Bill 6101 make similar changes to Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Act (meaning COVID contraction at work does not violate MIOSHA as long as employers are complying with all applicable laws, regulations, orders, etc. relating to COVID-19 precautions).

House Bill 6032 sets return to work requirements for employees with COVID symptoms and/or exposures, and then codifies that employers cannot discipline, discharge, or retaliate against employees who comply with the return to work guidelines. This gives employers clear guidance on what to do when an employee has symptoms.

RECOVERY READINESS:  A How-To Guide for Reopening Your Workplace

Cushman & Wakefield recently added new material to their previously issued Recovery Readiness Guide, including insights gained through thousands of survey responses, and experience with their own workforce.

  • Examples of the strategies and actions that clients have employed, as well as some of their own;
  • Additional insights from their survey of more than 50,000 people worldwide;
  • An expanded What’s Next section that includes thoughts on The New Workplace Ecosystem

Click to view the updated guide.

Workplace Safety Q&A Recording Now Available

Sean Egan, Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director, recently hosted a live Q & A to answer your most pressing questions about workplace safety amidst the pandemic.  

View the full video and the presentation for additional information.

Make sure you check out – the one-stop-shop for employer, employee workplace safety resources including posters, videos, fact sheets and industry specific guidelines.

To get your questions answered about safety and health practices at work, we encourage you to call the new MIOSHA hotline at
855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219).

COVID-19 Symptom Checker

The RELAUNCH Greater Lansing: Economic Rehabilitation Task Force, consisting leaders from multiple industry sectors in the Capital Region, has partnered with the Ingham County Health Department to create a COVID-19 symptom checker that is a free, easy tool for organizations to consider.

It is intended to help businesses determine who is safe to work in-person and who should remain home and decrease the spread of COVID-19. The symptom checker results should be shared only with HR departments or direct supervisors to keep the health of each employee confidential, in accordance with HIPAA laws.

The COVID-19 symptom checker is located on the Ingham County Health Department's COVID-19 Resource Page.  

Click to view the this onine screening tool. 

7/24/20: Additional Guidance from DOL as Workplaces Reopen

The U.S. Department of Labor today published additional guidance for workers and employers on how the protections and requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) affect the workplace as workplaces reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. The guidance from the Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) includes commonly asked questions and answers that address critical issues in all three laws. 

This guidance is the latest addition to compliance assistance materials the WHD has published. These materials include a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers resource about paid sick and expanded family and medical leave under the FFCRA. WHD has also produced two guidance posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, that fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees of their FFCRA rights; Questions and Answers about posting requirements; and simple Quick Benefits Tips to determine how much paid leave the FFCRA allows workers to take.

Click to view the full USDOL announcement.

7/20/20: MDHHS Issues Guidance for Phased Reopening

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently issued a document, entitled A PHASED APPROACH TO RESUMING STANDARD OPERATIONS For Case Management and Other Home and Community Based Services.  The document incudes information on General Guidance; Employee Training; Employee Screening; and In Home Visits.  It also includes appendices that appear to align with Governor Whitmer's MI Safe Start Plan.


Upon review, the following questions were forwarded to MDHHS:

Incompass Michigan is writing to clarify if the Department intended this guidance to apply to all HCB services, including vocational programming.  We are also writing to seek clarification on how the limitations on group size are intended to be applied.  For example, does the Phase 4 limit referenced in Appendix A apply to 10 individuals within each room or otherwise delineated space within a facility, with physical distancing?

It would also be helpful to clarify what is meant by "deemed essential for the individual."  It was our understanding, based on previous BHDDA communications, that all behavioral health services were deemed essential. 

On Friday, the following response was received from BHDDA:

The guidance attached was developed by MSA and distributed to their provider network earlier this week.  BHDDA is in the process of reviewing and possibly adapting this guidance for behavioral health providers.  It is intended as guidance and can be used as a tool in developing your organization’s current and future planning  needs. In regards to the group limit referenced in Appendix A, it is important to assess no matter the identified space, the ability to safely maintain social distance while adhering to the group size limit.   I have also attached the BHDDA essential services guidance updated on July 8th, which supports your understanding that all BH services are essential. 

Toolkit to Help Workplaces Stay Safe

To further protect workers and the community, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-147 reiterates that businesses who are open to the public must refuse entry and service to individuals who fail to comply with wearing a face covering. The Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) stands at the ready to provide the tools necessary for business to protect their workers and remain safely open.

Under the governor’s order, businesses must post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside – to assist employers with this requirement, a print-ready poster is available online. LEO and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) have a set of online resources at that provides guidelines, posters for employees and customers, fact sheets, educational videos and a reopening checklist to keep workplaces safe.

"By requiring everyone in their establishment to mask up, Michigan businesses can help keep their employees, workplaces and customers safe,” said LEO Director Jeff Donofrio. "Employers who violate the Governor’s Executive OrdersCDC guidance and OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 create additional hazards for workers and put the public at risk. We all must do our part to prevent the spread of this virus."

6/26/20: Mask Wearing and Other New Safety and Health Rules

From a recent article posted by the American Society of Employers (ASE), along with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM):

Although employers will be implementing many new safety and health practices in the coming weeks and months, there will also be employee relations challenges as a result. Some employees will come back believing that wearing a face mask at work is a request not a requirement. Some may even take rules requiring wearing a face mask as a political challenge or an afront to their personal liberties. Employers will need to be ready to communicate why the employee cannot ignore or refuse to comply with face mask and other new safety policy and practices.

As we have stated on ASE’s Coronavirus Resources webpage and in past articles, OSHA/MIOSHA requires employers to provide necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). OSHA does not require employees to wear or use it. That is the responsibility of the employer.

Employers opening shop again and bringing employee’s back to work there will need to develop safety rules.  Please see MIOSHA’s COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines. Just as some employers have required the use of safety glasses or steel tipped shoes, employers will need to set up rules that require the wearing of a face mask (that the employer is providing), cleaning of work areas with cleaning solutions /disinfectant, and not using other employees’ phones or computers just to name a few.

Most returning employees will understand and will comply with mask wearing requirements, but what about the few that state they cannot (or will not) wear a face mask? 

Click to view the full ASE / SBAM article.

COVID-19 Testing for Employees

The following message has been issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS):

Help Keep Workplaces Safer:

Encourage Your Employees to Get Tested for COVID-19

As businesses begin to reopen, employees are encouraged to get a COVID-19 test if they are at risk of exposure. This includes employees who are in contact with the public or work in industries that have seen outbreaks, such as farming, food processing, animal industries, etc., even if the employee does not have symptoms. Increased testing will help determine where the virus is so we can stop it before it spreads and safely re-engage the economy.

Testing is NOT required for employees to return to work. Testing WILL help us keep workplaces safer by stopping the spread. Our goal is to test 30,000 people per day. Please help us meet this goal by encouraging your employees to get tested.

Find a COVID-19 testing location near you.

6/2/20: MI Symptoms Web Application

In an effort to help reopening businesses safely reengage in the economy, the MI Symptoms Web Application is a cost-free way for employers to comply with Executive Order 2020-97 and implement a COVID-19 symptoms screening questionnaire for employees.

Designed primarily for employers and employees, the online tool is also available to all Michigan residents. Users enter information daily to help identify symptoms that might be caused by the virus and to make decisions about when to seek appropriate medical care. Local and state public health will also use the collective data to help identify the potential for new outbreaks of the disease.

Some employers may ask or require employees to use MI Symptoms as they return to work to help identify potential cases of COVID-19 before it can spread. Employees will have an objective tool to inform their employer that they should not be coming to work without having to share symptom-specific information.

If you choose to participate, employers can create a profile. After creation, a code will be generated that can be shared with employees to use on their profiles. 

MI Symptoms and MI Safe Start Map support the state’s “Contain COVID” efforts by linking symptomatic individuals to resources and providing data to plan and evaluate the impact of target, testing and protection efforts as necessary to begin to safely reengage the economy.

Click to view the MI Symptoms App frequently asked questions.

6/2/20: CDC Guidance for Direct Service Providers and Group Homes

Direct Service Providers (DSPs) include personal care attendants, direct support professionals, paraprofessionals, therapists, and others. They provide a wide variety of home and community-based, health-related services that support people with disabilities.  Services provided may include personal care, activities of daily living, access to health services, and more. DSPs have close and consistent contact with people with disabilities and those providing healthcare support services in day and residential programs for people with disabilities. DSPs are considered to be in the same general risk category as health care personnel. DSPs are essential for the health and well-being of the people they serve. DSPs should be aware of how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads, risk factors, and prevention actions.

Click to view the CDC guidance for direct service providers.

CDC also has guidance for long-term care facilities and nursing homesassisted living facilitiesretirement communities and independent living facilities, and shared or congregate housing. Many of the recommendations for COVID-19 described in these documents also apply to GHs. GH administrators may consider implementing several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Click to view the CDC guidance for group homes.

5/29/20: MIOSHA Site for COVID-19 Safety

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) within the Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) launched a new online COVID-19 Workplace Safety site – – the site provides guidance and a toolkit of resources to keep workplaces safe as sectors of the state’s economy reopen. 

With the continued risk of COVID-19 spread, everyone in the workplace must take necessary precautions. The site includes MIOSHA issued guidelines, posters for employees and customers, fact sheets, educational videos and a reopening checklist – all of which will help businesses safely  reopening their doors. 

In addition to the general workplace guidelines for employer and employees, MIOSHA provided further clarification on necessary steps several other sectors must take when reopening, including:  

Those with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the new hotline at 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219).

5/29/20: New Portal for Businesses Seeking PPE

As Michigan's economy begins to reopen, the state has a new mechanism to connect businesses with needed personal protective equipment.  The Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC)has a new portal aimed at ensuring businesses have access to gloves, face coverings and other PPE needed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the quasi-governmental Michigan Economic Development Corp. said in a news release on yesterday.

PMBC is offering a free procurement program to assist businesses in accessing non-medical grade Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to keep their employees and customers safe as they begin resuming in-person operations, as is required by Executive Order.  PMBC can connect businesses seeking access to face masks, face shields, gloves, goggles and other protection materials with businesses that have supplier capacity to meet the demand.

Click to view the PMBC website.

MIOSHA Workplace Guidelines, New Worker Protection Hotline

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As many businesses reopen their doors, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) within the Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) issued workplace guidelines for employers and employees and created a new hotline, 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219), to answer guideline questions and further protect Michigan’s workforce from the spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, MIOSHA provides further clarification the construction and manufacturing sectors must take to protect workers that have returned to work. The State of Michigan’s Workplace Safety Guidelines can be found on LEO’s homepage at  

Employers must create a written exposure control plan which includes exposure determination and outlines measures that will be taken to prevent employee exposure to COVID-19, including as appropriate:  

  • Engineering controls
  • Administrative controls
  • Hand hygiene and environmental surface disinfection
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Health surveillance
  • Training

5/13/20: Discussions on Safely Re-Engaging Continue

Gov. Whitmer was joined by Maureen Francis, President of the Michigan Realtors Association and Rachel Lutz, owner of the Detroit small business The Peacock Room, to talk about how certain sectors of the economy are re-engaging safely. As Michigan begins to work towards the different phases of the governor’s 6 phase MI Safe Start Plan the governor will continue to work with partners in health care, labor, education and business continue to ensure the necessary measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.  To watch the governor’s full update click here.  

SBAM Resources on Employer Liability

The Small Business Association of Michigan has posted an article titled:

If Employees Get Sick With COVID-19 When We Return to Work, Are Employers Liable?

The biggest fear for employers is what to do if an employee who came back to work is later diagnosed with COVID-19.   Are employers liable for these situations? 

Think of the meat packing business and the liabilities they will incur.  Although in this situation, it may have been preventable in part had they followed CDC guidelines of masking and social distancing.   “For an employer wanting to get back to normal business, this could be the third crisis facing the nation,” said Todd Maisch, head of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “The first being the health crisis, the second being the economic crisis, the third being years of a liability crisis.”

Click to view the complete article.

ASE Guidebook

The American Society of Employers (ASE) has developed guidebook and checklist in collaboration with The Luminous Group LLC. It is intended to help prepare your organization’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. This guidebook and checklist were developed to the best of their abilities as of the publication date.

Click to view the ASE Guidebook.

MN Guide for Safely Returning Employees to the Workplace

Continuity guidance for agencies on safely returning some employees to the workplace during COVID-19.

Click to view.

Crain's Webinar on Business Reopening

Crain's Detroit Business hosted a panel of experts during a webinar yesterday, to explore what businesses can do to successfully reopen, or what the next steps are if faced with permanent closure.

The speakers discussed how to create a "playbook" for restarting business, including physical modifications, disinfection, social distancing and other topics.

Speakers include:

  • Pierre Batton, vice president of small business services, Detroit Economic Growth Corp.
  • Brian Calley, president, Small Business Association of Michigan.
  • Kyle Sasena, first vice president, TCF Bank.
  • 'Tember Shea, venture portfolio manager, Invest Detroit Ventures.
  • Ned Staebler, vice president for economic development, Wayne State University; President and CEO, TechTown.

Click here to view the recording.

Responsible RestartOhio

Includes Ohio Stay At Home Order, 5 Protocols for All Businesses, and specific guides for General Office Environments; Manufacturing, Distribution & Construction; and Consumer, Retail & Services. 

Click here to view.

HR Insights from Mode Health Insurance Professionals

Includes Determining When to Reopen, Conducting a Risk Assessment, Maintaining Workplace Safety Using OSHA and CDC Guidance, and Continued Safety.

Click here to view.

LEAR Safe Work Playbook 2nd Edition

There is no turn-key manual for restarting a business enduring the hardships of a pandemic - but one Fortune 500 company is aiming to help fill that void, using the downtime made necessary by the spread of the coronavirus to develop and publish a detailed handbook for reopening its manufacturing facilities, while minimizing the potential risks in getting back to work, where and when permitted by law.

The Lear Corp. is a 103-year-old maker of electrical components and seats for cars, and reported more than $21 billion in sales in 2018 - placing the company No. 147 on Fortune's annual list. Lear has 30 manufacturing facilities in the U.S., but has had to temporarily slow or idle production at many of its plants because of COVID-19.

With input from company leaders from human resources, information technology, health, safety, communications and operations, Lear has developed a best practices guide they're calling the Safe Work Playbook: An interactive guide for COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response.

The manual, a 51-page, detailed set of protocols for everything from creating an in-house pandemic response team to sanitation procedures for production lines to social distancing in break rooms, seeks to merge company practices with guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Click to view the Lear Safe Work Playbook 2.0.

Click to download copies of editable signage outline in the playbook.

SBAM's Small Business Owner's Guide to Getting Back to Work Safely

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) has put together the Small Business Owner's Guide to Getting Back to Work Safely. The manual is designed to serve as a resource to help guide you in the creation of your organization's written preparedness and response plan, a requirement of Executive Order 2020-59. 

Topics include:

  • General Guidance
  • PPE
  • Within Your Facility
  • Culture and Employees
  • and a Final Checklist

Click to view SBAM's Small Business Owner's Guide to Getting Back to Work Safely.

Return to Work Playbook developed by General Motors

Document outlines a six-part risk mitigation strategy including: Communication and Awareness, Site Entry Process, Sanitization, Physical Distancing and Ventilation, Critical Supply Management, and Validation.

Click here to view.

Tenant Resource Guide by Martin Commercial Properties

Document provides guidance for preparing tenant-leased space for the safe return of employees, visitors, vendors, contractors, and others.

Click to view.

Small Business Toolkit by MI Nonprofit Network

Spreadsheet includes Checklist, Cash Flow Budget, Cash Flow Actuals, Cash Flow Actuals vs Budget, Unemployment Analysis, PPP Max Loan Calculation, PPP vs ERC Analysis, 

Click to view.

Webinar by the legal affairs firm of Miller Johnson

Webinar on the development of the written Preparedness and Response Plan requirements for essential businesses.

Click to view PPT. 

Click to view recording.

Returning Post COVID-19, MIOSHA and Incompass Michigan Webinar

Webinar with MIOSHA's Deb Ziel, Sr. Occupational Safety Consultant, addressing new and updated Emergency Rules in response to COVID-19 and guidance on controls and how to protect employees.

This webinar focuses on the workplace safety implications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including: 

  • MIOSHA Emergency Rules Update
  • General Duty Clause and COVID-19
  • Recordkeeping & Reporting COVID-19 in the Workplace 
  • Returning to Work
  • Temporary Workers and Contracts with Employers

Click to view PPT.

Click to view recording.

CDC Provides Guidance on Bringing Essential Workers Back

The CDC has released guidelines regarding when people in critical infrastructure roles can return to work after being exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.  To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, the CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.

Employers are advised to do the following:

Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.

Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.

Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.

Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.

Disinfect and Clean Work Spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment routinely.

Click to view the CDC Guidelines.

Click to view a printable flyer to post in the workplace.

While it's still far too early to establish clear protocols for resumption of "normal" business and service operations, it's not too early to begin planning - these guidelines may offer insight into necessary steps for the screening requirements service providers may be implementing once this occurs.  Some organizations have already implemented. 

JVS After COVID Video

JVS recently developed a fun video to share with staff, customers, and the general public that provides tips and strategies for returning to work after Covid-19. Feel free to share on your social media, with staff and customers as see fit.

Thanks to JVS Vice President, Workforce Development & Rehabilitation, Jim Willis for sharing.

Click to view the video.

4/13/20:  Discussion Elevates on Reopening Economy

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Khaldun and Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio gave an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. The governor talked about her extension of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order issued last Thursday, and the importance of following the science to protect the lives of Michiganders and prevent a possible resurgence of COVID cases.

She also outlined the two crises that Michigan is confronting; a public health crisis and an economic crisis. She stressed that in order to re-engage the economy safely, Michigan must examine the following factors: 

1. Sustained reduction in case counts

2. Enhanced ability to test and trace

3. Sufficient healthcare capacity

4. Best practices for the workplace.

Sen. Mike Shirkey has announced the formation of the “Safe Behavior for Safe Workplaces” Senate workgroup, which will gather information from businesses, medical professionals, and citizens across Michigan to create recommendations for best practices in the workplace in preparation for the transition back to work.

Incompass Michigan will continue to monitor these discussions and provide members with up to date information and resources.

Screening Employee Temperatures: What Employers Need to Know

The EEOC has re-issued its guidance, confirming specifically that the COVID-19 pandemic permits employers to measure employees’ body temperatures before allowing them to enter the worksite.  Any such screening should be implemented on a nondiscriminatory basis, and all information gleaned should be treated as confidential medical information under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, employers should understand that screening employees’ temperatures is just one of the screening devices that employers may utilize and will not completely mitigate the risk of contagion, as some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever and may also otherwise be contagious without experiencing any symptoms.

The EEOC, CDC, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have not yet issued guidance on a process or requirements specific to temperature checks.  Because some employers already are required by state and local orders to institute temperature checks, below are suggested general best practices and specific compliance approaches that employers may consider in connection with temperature testing:

  • Communicate clearly in advance with their workforces regarding temperature checks and related implications (e.g., being sent home).
  • Set a temperature screening threshold over which employees will not be permitted to enter the workplace.  The CDC considers a person to have a fever when he or she has a measured temperature of at least 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit; many employers have adopted screening thresholds in the 100-100.4°F range.
  • Seek to facilitate testing in the least invasive way possible, including by attempting to procure devices that can register temperature without exposure to bodily fluids (e.g., no-contact thermometers). 
  • Appoint someone with proper training—ideally an on-site medical staff person or other medical professional if possible—to facilitate or administer on-site temperature checks.
  • Maintain social distancing (e.g., by establishing multiple temperature check stations at large facilities to minimize crowding), clean and disinfect medical equipment, and take other COVID-19 related precautions.

Click to view additional information from WilmerHale, a full-service international law firm.

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Curated page of the Most Current Updates and Resources impacting Provider Services and Business Operations

Vaccine Information

Resources for Communicating with Persons Served

Mental Health Resources

Advocacy Center and Action Alerts

Additional Members Only Resources

Curated List of Grants

COVID-19 Community of Practice

Relevant Incompass Michigan Member Updates, Info Alerts and Webinars