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Work from home emergency rules most likely to be extended

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 11:13 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -

As Michigan begins to lift restrictions in restaurants, gyms and nursing homes business leaders are urging the governor to let people return to the office.

The emergency rules banning in-person work for offices across Michigan expire on April 14th.

But the director of COVID work place safety Sean Egan says it will very likely be extended.

“We’re still in the midst of this pandemic while there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a long tunnel. So we’re certainly evaluating the next steps from here, but I would anticipate that we’ll probably extend the emergency rules,” said Egan.

Veronica Horn the President & CEO of Saginaw Co. Chamber of Commerce says she’s not on board with this extension.

She says not only is working from home taking a toll on people’s mental health, but also sees a loss of millions of dollars.

“If you work in a downtown area and you pay income tax. They’re not. They’re going to be losing millions of dollars this year because people like me, I work in downtown Saginaw but I live in a different community. And I’m not going to be paying that income tax that I happily pay for every year,” said Horn.

However, some people in the community feel that working from home has really made their job easier and more flexible.

“We’re more prepared to start working from home because we just transferred our files so that they were in Google… and we were very surprised that we were so ready to all work remotely from home. And so that helped. And it’s just been really nice to have the flexibility of working from home,” said Brianna Fuller, Project Manager at Sedgewick + Ferweda Architects.

Egan says that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has created a work group that is set to launch very soon to help make decisions on when people can return back to the workplace.

“So we want to talk about that and make sure that we can give a good advice to the Governor so as we start to plan the next steps and COVID in person to work, maybe one of those and certainly that those are things that we’re going to do.”

State COVID work place regulators are working to get a recommendation to the governor so she can make an informed decision before that April 14th deadline.

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