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Whitmer lets colleges convert spaces for socially distanced learning

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday amending the fire code that will allow Michigan colleges and universities to convert large spaces for instruction to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  

The order amends the Michigan Administrative Code during the state of emergency to allow colleges and universities to convert large spaces for socially-distanced learning without inspection or approval from the Bureau of Fire Services.  

The order comes as colleges and universities are preparing for students to return to campus for a new semester.

 "When it comes to instruction in the fall, Michigan’s colleges and universities are working tirelessly to provide a safe environment for students and staff," Whitmer said in the announcement. "I am committed to doing everything in my power to remove barriers for individuals, business and schools to fight COVID-19. This order will make it easier for our colleges and universities to educate Michigan’s college students in the most safe and efficient way by ensuring everyone can maintain safe physical distancing.”  

Under the order, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will provide further guidance governing temporary approval of the use of a space as an instructional facility.