Traverse Connect commended state leaders for a bipartisan budget agreement, which included rescinding proposed permanent Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules that would have perpetuated many current temporary COVID-19 workplace protocols. Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, and Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth announced the agreement Thursday, hours after a revised timeline for Michigan’s reopening was previewed by the Governor in a morning press conference.
“Our region’s business owners are ready for a return to normalcy after 14 months of working diligently to keep their business open and their employees and patrons safe,” said Warren Call, president and CEO of Traverse Connect. “After weeks of advocating on behalf of employers, our organization is now focused on the full reopening and re-engagement of our economy. Yesterday’s announcement of the withdrawal of the proposed permanent MIOSHA rules, the return of in-person work on May 24, and an accelerated July 1 reopening with a revised ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan herald a summer of revenue and job growth for northern Michigan’s businesses.”
Under the agreement, the administration rescinds MIOSHA’s draft permanent rules and cancels the public hearing scheduled for May 26. In addition, now that the state has reached the 55% vaccination threshold, and in accordance with the Governor’s MI Vacc to Normal plan, MIOSHA will remove the requirement that employers create a “policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.” MIOSHA will also be updating other aspects of the emergency rules to reflect recent guidance from the CDC and MDHHS, which will take effect May 24.
Traverse Connect urges everyone who is ready to get vaccinated to find a nearby walk-in clinic or talk to their health provider so the Grand Traverse Region, and our state, can continue down the path of economic recovery. As of May 20, the Grand Traverse Region leads the state with initial vaccination coverage of 60.7%.