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Attorney general: Enforcement of new COVID-19 restrictions remains the same

Local police and health departments are tasked with making sure everyone complies
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Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 12:48 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Enforcement of the new COVID-19 measures in Michigan announced Sunday evening will be the same as past orders, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office.

Health departments and local law enforcement will remain the primary agencies to investigate and enforce the restrictions, which include a three-week shut down of dine-in service at restaurants and closure of all high schools in Michigan.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office will assist those agencies in enforcing the orders, which came from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services under the state’s Public Health Code of 1978.

“This virus is quickly spreading throughout our state and we must do everything we can to stop it and flatten the curve," said Kelly Rossman-McKinney, who is Nessel’s communications director.

Saginaw Township Police Chief Don Pussehl said enforcement of the Whitmer administration’s orders ultimately fall to the health department.

“We’re not going to issue tickets or arrest somebody and take them to jail on this," he said. “These are public health code violations and it would be up to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to determine what they want to pursue.”

The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police provided guidance on Monday spelling out what law enforcement should do if someone isn’t complying.

The organization says officers should take a complaint and send it to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which then will decide whether a violation occurred and will determine the punishment.

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