Gov. Whitmer seeks to up the ante on COVID-19 order enforcement with latest mandate

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is leaning on licensing agencies and state departments to aid with enforcement of coronavirus restrictions.

Whitmer, in an executive directive issued Tuesday, ordered the Michigan State Police to enforce COVID-19 executive orders like they would other violations of law and called on state departments to prioritize enforcement.

She also ordered licensing agencies to consider violations a “public health hazard” and consider license suspensions when identified.

More: Michigan coronavirus cases: Tracking the pandemic

More: Michigan reports 664 new coronavirus cases, eight deaths Tuesday

Cases of coronavirus hit a low in June but, since then, the state has risen from a seven-day average of about 15 cases per million in mid-June to about 50 cases per million in late July, Whitmer’s office said in the release.

Without enforcement of restrictions such as capacity limits and mask mandates, the state will move backward in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Whitmer’s office said.

“Ensuring these executive orders are enforced across the state will protect Michigan families, small businesses, and the first responders on the front lines of this crisis,” Whitmer said in the release. “This fight is not over yet.”

In the order, Whitmer called for state department directors and autonomous agency heads to review their allocations of resources to prioritize enforcement, with special attention to establishments with well-documented transmission such as nursing homes, meat processing plants and agricultural labor camps.

The director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will be required to consider ceasing operations at department-inspected food establishments where there is a public health hazard related to COVID-19.

State departments and agencies made aware of violations must also refer credible violations to the appropriate licensing agencies.

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