Sheriff’s Office Enforcement of Executive Order Regarding Masks

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement on the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order regarding masks:

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and our law enforcement partners are asking residents to do their part in helping slow the spread of the Coronavirus by following the executive order recently announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. On Monday, Executive Order 2020-147 went into effect, requiring you to wear a face covering whenever you are in an indoor public space or crowded outdoor space. More specifically, it requires that businesses open to the public must refuse entry and service to anyone not wearing some type of face covering.

Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton and local law enforcement leaders would like you to know how law enforcement within Washtenaw County will respond, should you report seeing someone violating the order. As with other previous orders, our goal is compliance through education.

What the Order requires:

  • Individuals are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space or crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Any business that is open to the public must refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.
  • Those who are exempt from wearing a mask in Michigan businesses include;
    • people younger than five years old
    • those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering
    • those who are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment
  • Businesses must post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside.
  • A willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty, but no term of confinement may be imposed on individuals who violate the mask requirement. In Washtenaw County we aim to gain compliance through education when possible.
  • No individual is subject to penalty under the order for removing a mask while engaging in religious worship at a house of religious worship, although consistent with guidance from the CDC, congregants are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings during religious services.

If you see someone in violation:

  • If you are within a business and you see another customer in violation of the order: We ask that you first address the management/owner of the business. The business is responsible for requiring masks and should have the opportunity to address their customers. It is possible that the individual without a mask is exempt from the requirement.
  • If you are in a crowded public space and individuals are in violation of the order: You may call Metro Dispatch at 734-994-2911 and you will be connected to your local police agency. Our goal will be to gain compliance through education, offer a mask if available, and in rare circumstances cite if absolutely necessary.
  • Where do I go if a business is violating the Executive Order? Call Metro Dispatch at 734-994-2911 and you will be connected to your local police agency.

If you are a business owner:

  • Under the Governor’s order, businesses must post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside
    • In order to assist with this requirement, the Governor’s office has shared this print-ready poster. It is available online.
  • LEO and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) have a set of online resources at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety that provides guidelines, posters for employees and customers, factsheets, educational videos and a reopening checklist to keep workplaces safe.
  • If a customer refuses to wear a mask and refuses to leave, please do not direct your staff to confront customers refusing to wear a mask and refusing to leave. Instead. you may contact Metro Dispatch at 734-994-2911 and you will be connected to your local police agency.

The Sheriff’s Office and our local law enforcement partners continue to work in close coordination with Wasthenaw County Public Health. Please continue to rely on official sources of information for local (www.washtenaw.org/covid19), state (www.michigan.gov/coronavirus), and national (http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19) updates.

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