Baraga County EEO FAQ’s
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ENFORCEMENT OF GOVERNOR GRETCHEN WHITMER’S EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ORDERS IN BARAGA COUNTY
THE FOLLOWING ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) ARE NOT INTENDED TO SERVE AS LEGAL ADVICE FOR ANY PARTICULAR PERSON OR ENTITY. THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT INTENDED TO GIVE ANYONE ADVANCE NOTICE OF WHAT ACTION THE OFFICE OF THE BARAGA COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY WILL TAKE IF/AND/OR/WHEN PRESENTED WITH DETAILED FACTS ABOUT EVENTS WHICH OCCURRED IN THIS VENUE. THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS FAQ SITE IS TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE FOR CITIZENS IN BARAGA COUNTY TO ASSIST THEM IN UNDERSTANDING AND ADHERING TO THE CONFUSING, ALBEIT TEMPORARY, LAWS ENACTED BY THESE EMERGENCY EXECUTIVE ORDERS.
On March 10, 2020 the first two cases of COVID 19 were identified in the state of Michigan. On that same date the Governor declared a state of emergency and since then has issued no less than 47 (and counting) Emergency Executive Orders (EEO) intended to slow or halt the spread of COVID 19. These EEOs impose unprecedented restrictions on the lives of all Michigan residents and most of the restrictions are misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.00. The Michigan DHHS has also issued emergency regulations that impose fines of up to $1,000.00 for each day an EEO violation occurs.
Initially, Attorney General Dana Nessel assured us that her office would handle any and all EEO violations. Unfortunately, in matter of just a few days, she did an about-face and informed us that enforcement of EEO violations was now up to local prosecutors. In Baraga County that means me.
I could easily write page after page analyzing each EEO and giving my interpretation of each of them. But given the sheer number of EEOs, and the sheer number of calls I have already gotten seeking such interpretations, it is far more efficient and less redundant to simply post answers to these question here on the Baraga County website.
BE ADVISED THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE STATE LAW THROUGHOUT MICHIGAN AND IF SHE DISAGREES WITH MY DECISION ON ANY PARTICULAR CASE, SHE MAY BRING A PROSECUTION EVEN IF I DECLINE TO DO SO. ACCORDINGLY, PROCEED WITH CAUTION AND/OR CONSULT YOUR OWN ATTORNEY BEFORE MAKING DECISIONS BASED SOLELY ON THIS FAQ SITE.
Stay at Home
Yes and no. EEO 20-020-59, which rescinds EEO 2020-42, adds new restrictions and lifts some restrictions. Regarding wearing masks, EEO 2020-59 now requires:
¶15. Effective April 26 at 11:59 pm:
(a) Any individual medically able to tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth-such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief-when in any enclosed public space.
In my opinion this means that individuals who are allowed to leave home, such as critical workers heading to their jobs, or individuals who need to obtain necessary supplies such as medicine or groceries, or individuals leaving home for outdoor recreation, MUST wear a face covering when he or she enters a public building, such as a grocery store or pharmacy. It does not have to be a medical-grade mask, in fact the EEO specifically reserves such masks for medical personnel, first-responders and other critical workers who must interact with the public. It is only required that such coverings go over the nose and mouth.
This requirement does not apply when one is outdoors, in a vehicle with members of his or her own household, or in private spaces such as one’s office, as long as the public does not have access to that office.
Unlike most provisions of this and other EEOs, failure to wear a face covering is not a crime. It is subject, however, to the April 2, 2020 Emergency Order issued by the Director of the DHHS which carries a fine of $1,000.00 for each day the EEO is violated.