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Wayne Co. issues mask mandate for residents, businesses

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Wayne County issued an emergency order Thursdayrequiring residents to wear masks or facial coverings outside of their homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order comes about six days after the Michigan Supreme Court handed down a landmark 4-3 ruling that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer violated her constitutional authority by continuing to issue executive orders to combat the pandemic without the approval of state lawmakers.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans

“We are keeping the COVID-19 rules and regulations in place from before the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on the governor’s authority to issue them,” County Executive Warren Evans said in a statement.

"Wayne County’s order is simple: keep wearing masks in public; no group events larger than 10 people or 20 percent attendance per 1,000 square feet of space; and, employers must still provide health screenings for employees working in public areas or with the public. These are the rules we are accustomed to and they are the rules we are going to follow until there is clearer direction from the state."

Meanwhile, the county's order will be enforced and violators may be cited and subject to penalties established in the Michigan Public Health Code, Evans said.

He said the order will remain in effect until the health officer of Wayne County's Health Department determines there's no longer a threat to public health.

"Wayne County residents and businesses recognize the importance these health safety measures play in reducing the spread of COVID-19, and we have seen strong compliance across our 43 communities," Evans said. "This order just makes it clear that Wayne County is going to continue with the public health safety rules everyone is accustomed to and that are showing results in slowing the spread of this disease." 

Oakland County issued a mask mandate Saturday on its rules. Macomb County said it will not issue an order, preferring the state government establish a policy for wearing mask or facial coverings.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez