The penalties for breaking Michigan's social distancing guidelines are getting steeper. A new executive order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services yesterday (4/2) sets fines up to $1,000 for not complying with rules which ban gatherings and prohibit the operation of non-essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said businesses that are found to be in violation could also be reviewed by state licensing agencies and could face additional fines.

“A person can have coronavirus without knowing it,” Gordon said in a release. “They can spread the disease to others who can spread it to others. The only way to stop the spread is social distancing. A civil penalty and potential licensing actions send a strong message to Michiganders that social distancing is essential to saving lives.”

According to sources, law enforcement agencies are authorized to investigate violators not complying with the following executive orders:

  • Executive Order 2020-11 temporarily prohibits large assemblages and events and temporarily closes schools.
  • Executive Order 2020-20 places temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation.
  • Executive Order 2020-21 temporarily restricts gatherings and travel and prohibits in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.
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