You may have seen recent news coverage regarding the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling that Gov. Whitmer did not have the authority to declare a state of emergency based on the COVID-19 pandemic after April 30, 2020, or exercise emergency powers under the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945. The ruling came late Friday, and even as I write this, the parties on both sides of the legal issue continue to debate the impact and effective date of the court’s decision.
I want each of you to know that this legal debate does not change the health directives and orders we have for Michigan State University. Our MSU Community Compact is still intact, and the same health and safety directives — wearing face coverings indoors and outdoors on campus, washing your hands, practicing physical distancing and limiting large gatherings — are still in effect.
Further, the Ingham County Health Department this weekend issued four of its own emergency orders to maintain and reinforce the most important public health edicts — use of face coverings, limitations on indoor and outdoor gathering sizes, capacity limits for restaurants and mandatory employee health screenings.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also issued additional clarification and emergency orders related to face coverings, limiting gathering sizes and restaurant and bar capacities, among other areas.
These requirements are not new, but they help to remove any uncertainty around the continuation of precautionary measures for Ingham County and MSU. We have come too far in practicing safe behaviors to stop now — we must all to continue the safety precautions we have been taking these past seven months.
I realize it is hard to follow all the different entities weighing in right now. That is why I’m reaching out to you today – just know that nothing is changing for us at MSU. We will continue the health and safety directives we have in place. If something changes at the state or local level that will impact our directives at MSU, you will be notified. Until then, please continue checking the Together We Will website for important information and resources.
Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.