Citing rapidly escalating COVID-19 infections across Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a number of new restrictions, including on funeral attendance, in a Sunday evening press conference. The new restrictions, issued through an Emergency Order from Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, include a 25 person cap on funeral attendance, effective Wednesday, November 18, and continuing through December 8. Most other indoor gatherings are prohibited at non-residential venues and are limited to no more than 10 persons from no more than 2 households in residential venues. Outdoor gatherings are also limited to 25 people with a density of no more than 20 persons per 1,000 square feet (for venues without fixed seating), including any distinct area within the event space. Below is an infographic outlining the Order's major previsions.
The Order also states that, "organizers and venues must design the gathering to encourage and maintain physical distancing and must ensure that persons not part of the same household maintain 6 feet of distance from one another to the extent possible." In addition, "all persons participating in a gathering are required to wear a face mask."
As with earlier orders, funeral homes may not assume that someone who enters the facility without a face mask falls within an exception--including the exception that an individual may not be able to medically tolerate one. An individual's verbal expression, however, that he or she is not wearing a face mask due to falling within one the specified exceptions may be accepted. As with earlier orders, neither a place of religious worship nor an individual engaging in religious worship at a place of religious worship is subject to the Order's penalty previsions.
Violation of the Order is deemed a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or a fine of not more than $200, or both. Violations are also punishable by a civil fine of up to $1,000 for each violation or day that a violation continues.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, all attendees are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing.