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05/20/2020

Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky Reopening Updates

Ohio State Press Conference Summary: 5/14 - 5/19

Tuesday, May 19: Governor DeWine released details on the new “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory” which replaces the Stay Safe Ohio order. The order replaces language requiring Ohioans to stay home with limited exceptions with language that strongly recommends that citizens, especially those that are at high risk, stay home as much as possible. The order does not change the mass gathering restrictions, which remains at a 10-person limit. The new advisory lifts the overall travel restrictions and the requirement to quarantine if someone travels to or returns to Ohio. In addition, it was announced that the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation will begin distributing at least 2 million non-medical-grade face coverings to Ohio employers who are covered by BWC. Read more details on the new order and the face coverings.

Monday, May 18: Governor DeWine announced that the state is assembling an enforcement team to ensure that bars and restaurants are opening safely under the Responsible RestartOhio plan. The enforcement team will conduct safety compliance checks in crowded bars and restaurants. They will also work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against business owners who do not follow the order to maintain proper physical distancing between patrons.

Thursday, May 14: Governor DeWine provided an updated timeline of opening dates for various business sectors in Ohio. Childcare providers will be permitted to reopen beginning Sunday, 5/31, as long as they are able to meet the required safety protocols. To assist in the reopening of childcare centers, Ohio will use more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants.

The following sectors will be permitted to reopen starting May 26th: Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Gyms, Fitness Centers, Limited Contact Sports Leagues, and Public/Club Pools. View a full list of mandatory and recommended best practices.


Michigan State Press Conference Summary: 5/14 - 5/19

Tuesday, May 19: Michigan Strategic Fund approved a broad range of initiatives, business expansions and community revitalization projects to drive the economic recovery of Michigan’s businesses and communities to position the state for future prosperity. Read more about upcoming initiatives.

Monday, May 18: The MPSC, Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS) and Governor Whitmer have taken steps to ensure Michiganders impacted by layoffs or drops in income related to the pandemic can maintain energy service at their homes. Energy providers across the state have agreed to pause shutoffs for low-income and senior residential customers until the emergency is lifted and to provide flexible payment options. Read more. 

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order detailing that the procedures and restrictions in Executive Orders 2020-69, 2020-71, 2020-91 and 2020-92 are essential to control the COVID-19 epidemic. The governor’s orders will be reinforced, and violators could face civil fines up to $1000.  View more information. 

View the orders:

Saturday, May 16: In support of businesses navigating their way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Department of Treasury issued a notice that provides business taxpayers additional time to pay their Sales, Use and Withholding (SUW) taxes. Business taxpayers who were scheduled to make SUW tax payments due in March, April and May – including quarterly filers – can postpone filing requirements until June 20, 2020. The state Treasury Department will waive penalties and interest on those deferred payments. Find out more on tax payments. 

Friday, May 15: Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the creation of the Return to Learning Advisory Council via Executive Order 2020-88, formalizing a process for determining how schools may be able to reopen in the fall. Read more on the latest order for schools.

Governor Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-89, further extending enhanced price gouging restrictions during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.  To ensure that front-line workers and all Michiganders have access to necessary products during the public health crisis, Executive Order 2020-89 extends restrictions on excessive pricing of goods, materials, emergency supplies and consumer food items. View additional information on price gouging restrictions.

Michigan's COVID-19 Hotline Now Offers Free, Confidential Emotional Support Counseling. Get more information about the hotline. 

MIOSHA and LEO Workplace Guidelines

As the curve continues to flatten and 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 that construction and manufacturing sectors must take to protect workers who have returned to work. The State of Michigan’s Workplace Safety Guidelines can be found on LEO’s homepage at Michigan.gov/LEO. 

Read more on MIOSHA. 

View additional resources:

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) along with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity release COVID-19 WORKPLACE GUIDELINES.

COVID-19 Manufacturing Industry Guidelines EMPLOYER’S GUIDE WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH.

MIOSHA Enforcement Guidance – COVID19 Interim Enforcement Plan.


Kentucky State Press Conference Summary: 5/14 - 5/19

Tuesday, May 19: Governor Beshear set out state guidelines for having a safe Memorial Day weekend while continuing to fight COVID-19. Keeping safe while celebrating together is crucial as we enter the traditional start of the summer season. Gov. Beshear and state health officials are asking all Kentuckians to keep gatherings to 10 or fewer people. “Our actions have direct implications on the health and safety of others,” said Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack. Other guidance includes maintaining social distance of at least six feet, wearing masks, gathering outside instead of inside, washing hands frequently and covering food and individually wrapping plates.

Monday, May 18: The Governor called on Kentuckians to support contact tracing. “Team Kentucky needs you – answer the call if a public health worker contacts you. Contact tracing is key to protecting the health of our communities as we begin to reopen our economy. We are relying on more testing combined with increased contact tracing and for everyone to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Contact tracing, which is funded through the CARES Act, is expanding to meet both the White House and Governor’s benchmarks for safely reopening the economy. Each state and territory is using contact tracing as a tool to fight the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Stack said, “We are going to hire about 700 people and we will have to deploy these folks very effectively to help contain the infection.”

Find more information about Kentucky’s contact tracing program.

Friday, May 15: Governor Beshear said in partnership with Kroger, new testing locations would open in Richmond, Mayfield, Louisville and Hartford next week. 

Announcements regarding the reopening of additional tourism attractions and venues operated by the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet will be forthcoming.

Thursday, May 14: Governor Beshear announced that beginning May 22, groups of 10 people or fewer may gather and that the state’s travel ban is expiring the same day, the Friday ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

The remaining initial March unemployment claims are now at 16,600. These are complex claims that may include identity verification, overpayments, employee protests and interstate claims. Over a nine-week period beginning in March, 88% of the 576,486 claims have been processed. The remaining initial April claims are now 49,928. A total of $1.37 billion in claims have been paid.

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