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Michigan ends workplace COVID-19 rules except in health care

MIOSHA’s new emergency rules align with federal regulations that aim to protect health workers most likely to have contact with infected people.
Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and CDC coronavirus graphics.
Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and CDC coronavirus graphics.(MIOSHA/CDC)
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 2:50 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration scaled back COVID-19 workplace safety rules Tuesday, keeping mask and other requirements only in health care settings.

The change coincided with the lifting of broad indoor capacity restrictions and face covering mandates that had been in place for 15 months.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) new emergency rules align with federal regulations that aim to protect health workers most likely to have contact with infected people. The rules cover employees in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and outpatient settings; emergency responders; and home health aides.

Workers must wear masks at work, with exceptions. Fully vaccinated employees, for instance, are exempt from masking, distancing and barrier requirements in areas where it is unlikely others with coronavirus infections are present.

Michigan employers no longer must have written COVID-19 preparedness and response plans, and conduct daily entry self-screening protocols for all entering employees and contractors. They also do not have to require unvaccinated workers to wear face coverings when they cannot consistently maintain 6 feet of separation.

MIOSHA said dialing back the rules lets employers use their best judgment on mask and other requirements. But it strongly encouraged non-health care workplaces to still follow federal safety guidance.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.