MDHHS Epidemic Order
As of October 29, 2020, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued Epidemic Order for Gathering Prohibition and Face Covering. Be sure to read the full order, so you understand the requirements. MDHHS created a very helpful Fact Sheet and Infographic. This order is effective immediately, except for section 8(c), which takes effect on November 2, 2020. This order remains in effect until rescinded.
Please be advised of the following requirements that apply to agritourism operations, but please review the full order for a complete list of requirements.
Face masks are still required. Businesses, government offices, schools, child care organizations, operators of public transit, and all other gathering organizers must not allow indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind unless they require individuals to wear a face mask. These entities may not assume that someone who enters the business without a face mask falls in one of the exceptions; but may accept an individual’s verbal representation that they are not wearing a face mask because they fall within a specified exception.
LIMITS ON ATTENDANCE:
Indoor gatherings of up to 10 persons at non-residential venues are permitted. Face coverings are strongly recommended.
Indoor gatherings of more than 10 and up to 500 people occurring at a non-residential venue are permitted only to the extent that the organizers and venue:
- Venues with fixed seating - No more than 500 persons are gathered, and attendance is limited to 20% of the seating capacity of the venue.
- Venues without fixed seating -
No more than 50 persons are gathered, and attendance is limited to 20 persons per 1,000 square feet in each occupied room.
Require that each person at the gathering wear a face covering, except as noted in section 6 of the order.
- Only six people are permitted at each table.
Outdoor gatherings up to 1,000 persons occurring at a non-residential venue are permitted only to the extent that the organizers and venue:
- Venues with fixed seating - limit attendance to 30% of seating capacity;
- Venues without fixed seating - limit attendance to 30 persons per 1,000 square feet, including any distinct area within the event space;
- Require that each person at the gathering wear a face mask.
“Gathering” means any occurrence where two or more persons from more than one household are present in a shared space. Except for incidental gatherings in a shared space, all gatherings must include 6 feet of social distance between households.
- Gatherings at public facilities, such as a retail store, library or museum, may not exceed 50% total occupancy limits.Gatherings at recreational sports and exercise facilities, such as gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, bowling centers, roller and ice rinks, and trampoline parks, may not exceed 25% of total occupancy limits and are not allowed unless there is at least six feet between workout stations.\
- Gatherings at professional sports and entertainment facilities, including arenas, cinemas, concert halls, performance and sporting venues, stadiums and theaters, are allowed only if the venue can ensure there is six feet of distance between patrons not of the same household.
- Gatherings at outdoor pools must not exceed 50% of capacity limits, and at indoor pools must not exceed 25% of capacity limits.
- Gatherings at non-tribal casinos may not exceed 15% of total occupancy limits.
- In-person work is prohibited if work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.
INDOOR COMMON AREAS AND SEATING
Must not exceed 50% of normal seating capacity.
Must maintain six feet of distance between each party. No more than six people per table are allowed.
Must collect names and phone numbers to assist with contract tracing.
Close indoor common areas in which people can congregate, dance, or otherwise mingle.
Prohibit indoor gatherings anywhere alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption onsite, except for where parties are seated and separated from one another by at least six feet, and do not intermingle.
MIOSHA Emergency Rules for COVID-19
As of October 14, 2020, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued Emergency Rules for COVID-19. These are in effect for the next six months. Most of these are things that you are already doing, but please be sure to read the full list of requirements, including the Industry-specific Requirements for Retail, Restaurants and Bars, and Public Accommodations (Rule 9, Sections 3, 4 and 9).
The following are recommended best practices to implement at your agritourism operation to keep customers, employees and animals safe.
1. Social Distancing
- Assign a greeter or monitor to manage customer flow and assist with enforcing social distancing.
- Limit capacity to comply with six feet social distancing
- Install physical barriers at cash registers, bars, host stands, and other areas where maintaining physical distance of six feet is difficult
- Consider curbside, drive through and walk-up options for direct market farm operations
- Limit the number of all groups per activity to ensure groups are stationed six feet apart during activities - Petting farms, classes, tours, wagon rides, corn mazes, etc.
- Space exhibits to keep all groups six feet apart - Separate outdoor animal pens or use every other stall in a barn.
- Through signage & verbal instructions, encourage household or classroom groups to stay together, but distant from other groups
- Consider taking timed reservations or assigning times for specific, in-demand activities, such as u-pick or wagon rides, to control the number of guests at one activity at one time.
- Ensure that both employees and customers remain at least six feet apart to the maximum extent possible, including during employee breaks, for example by reviewing floor plans, creating temporary barriers, designating aisles as one-way only, and demarcating queueing distances.
- Waiting areas, standing room at check in and check out, restrooms, barns, enclosed agritainment activities, such as bounce houses, corn cribs
- Increase use of online pre-sale ticket systems or reservations to better control traffic
- Develop and mark traffic flow, walking patterns and visual cues for social distancing (both indoors and outdoors)
- Assign a designated greeter or host to manage customer flow and monitor distancing
- Consider establishing an outdoor reception area
- Consider facility reconfiguration to limit touch points
- Limit the number of people at any given time in barns, exhibits and retail spaces
- Door knobs, handrails
- Point-of-sale terminals, tokens, credit card machines, workstations, keyboards, telephones, pens and counters
- Carts, baskets and hand-pulled wagons
- Gates & latches, fence rails in high touch areas especially around animals
- All activity related equipment, i.e. jump pads, pedal carts, games, corn cannons, apple/pumpkin sling shots
- Animal feeding machines
- Wagons and shuttles, wagon seats and hand rails
- Picnic tables
- Fishing poles, buckets
- Displays, informational boards and push buttons
- U-Pick Supplies, such as saws, clippers, buckets, shears, scissors and flags
- Menus are to be sanitized between each use – use single use menus where possible and digital or online menus and they must be ADA compliant
- Sanitize tables, chairs and benches between customers
- Use best efforts to ensure checkout employees to disinfect their hands between orders to prevent cross-contamination
– Replace wood or cloth activities, games, and exhibits with nonporous,
easy-to-clean surfaces such as glass, metal or plastic.
– Provide single-use, disposable containers for u-pick. To prevent cross
contamination, do not allow customers to bring their own u-pick
– Limit shared items for customers
- Table items (e.g., condiments)
- Recommend using individual dispensers or packets
- Close self-serve food and drink options, like beverage fountains, self-serve coffee and buffets.
- Eliminate free samples and tasting stations
- Require customers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before entering a u-pick field.
- Require customers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after visiting animals.
- Watch this video on how to build an inexpensive handwashing station for the field.
- Water fountains
- Tactile hand dryers
- "Cut-Out" photo stations
- Lawn games
- Consider closing off high touch activities, i.e. jump pads, barrel trains, if they can’t be sanitized properly and regularly, especially activities made of wood.
- Encourage contactless payments, and limit cash handling. Encourage cash transactions to be processed at self-checkout kiosks when possible
- Use best efforts to provide disinfecting wipes at cash registers and entrance points for customers to disinfect carts and baskets, as well as at other appropriate locations.
- Signage posted for face covering policy for guests (requirements for those medically able to wear one). (Refer to MIOSHA guidelines.)
- It is recommended that outdoor employees who interact with customers wear face coverings or face shields, especially in situations where social distancing is not possible.
–To prevent cross contamination, encourage frequent handwashing rather than glove usage, unless gloves are required due to food safety regulations or indicated for use with specific cleaning or sanitizing supplies.
-Employers are required to screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms each day, and keep confidential records that the screenings have taken place. This can be through a verbal screening or a written screening, but the screening must be recorded. If an employee reports any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, diarrhea) or begins to show symptoms during the workday, they should be excluded from the work place.
- Employees must be trained on:
- Work place infection control policies and procedures
- Appropriate use of PPE
- Food safety protocols (if relevant to operation)
- How to recognize symptoms and manage symptomatic customers
- 3-7 days after fever breaks
- 14 days after isolation due to close contact with symptomatic individual
- Refer to CDC guidelines
- Notify your local health authority for confirmed positive cases. You do not need to notify your local health authority for symptomatic, but unconfirmed cases.
- American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund
- Small Business Relief Fund
- Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Work Share Program
- Small Business Disaster Assistance Loans
- DTE Energy Assistance Program
- State of Michigan Coronavirus Website
- MDARD has established an email address for the industry, stakeholders and customers to ask questions and get clarification: email@example.com
- Centers for Disease Control & PreventionResources Compiled by Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Farmers Market Association, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Food & Farming Systems, Farmers Market Coalition, University of Illinois Extension, Purdue University Extension—Navigating the COVID-19 outbreak, Consumer Guide to COVID-19 Outbreak, Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association