Whitmer orders workers to stay home if they are sick

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks to the Democratic National Convention.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks to the Democratic National Convention.
Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 2:19 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Michigan workers are required to stay home if they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms under an order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The order also prohibits employers from terminating, disciplining or retaliating against workers in any way when they stay home to avoid spreading coronavirus. Whitmer said the order comes at a crucial time after the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit ended.

“Every hardworking Michigander should feel empowered to make the responsible choice and stay home if they or someone they have been in contact with is sick,” Whitmer said. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families, our frontline workers, and our economy, and it’s crucial that anyone who experiences any of the symptoms of this virus stay home.”

Any workers who have a fever, uncontrolled cough or shortness of breath not explained by another chronic medical condition are required to stay home. Workers also aren’t allowed on the job with any two of the following symptoms not caused by an underlying condition:

  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Sore throat.
  • Severe headache.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.

Workers have to stay home until 24 hours has passed since a fever ends or 10 days have passed since other symptoms appeared. Employers are required to treat any workers who stay home due to any of these symptoms as though they are on medical leave of absence.

Whitmer also reiterated prior guidance that anyone in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient and anyone who has tested positive for the illness should stay home unless they are making essential trips to obtain food, medicine or medical care.

They can still enjoy individual outdoor activities like walking and bicycling as long as they stay six feet away from others, however.

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