Jun 2, 2020
Michigan executive order set to protect migrant workers living in congregate housing 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on June 1 signed Executive Order 2020-111, which provides additional requirements and procedures to keep agricultural workers and the food supply safe from the effects of COVID-19.

“It’s critical for Michiganders to have access to healthy and nutritious food grown right here in our state, and one of the best ways to ensure that is to make sure migrant agricultural workers are protected against the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a news release. “This Executive Order will save lives and help keep the state’s agricultural sector running smoothly and consistently.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Executive Order 2020-111, which takes effect immediately and expires on June 29, requires owners and operators of employer-provided migrant housing licensed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) provide residents with the same safeguards businesses are required to provide workers under Executive Order 2020-97. This includes creating a COVID-19 response plan, providing Personal Protective Equipment and following social distancing measures.

Housing owners and operators must also:

  • Separate beds by at least 6 feet or more in all directions wherever possible and encourage residents to sleep head-to-toe.
  • Provide isolation housing for COVID-19-infection who have not received a positive result from a COVID-19 test, unless the resident resides in a single-family housing unit or family living unit that is part of a multifamily unit and can effectively isolate themselves.
  • Provide housing, dining and bathroom facilities for COVID-19-confirmed residents separate from residents who are not COVID-19-confirmed.
  • Ensure regular ventilation of rooms where COVID-19-affected residents are housed.
  • Ensure anyone who delivers food and water to isolated residents is equipped with appropriate PPE.
  • Arrange for COVID-19-affected residents to be evaluated by a medical provider through the local health department or federally qualified health center.
  • Adopt any additional infection control measures consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

“COVID-19 can spread easily in settings where many people live in close proximity, such as the migrant housing where thousands of migrant agricultural workers live in Michigan each year,” Whitmer said. “Migrant agricultural workers are an essential workforce in Michigan and securing their health and well-being will help ensure Michigan’s food supply chain is not disrupted.”

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

To view Executive Order 2020-111, click the links below:


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