MDHHS Epidemic Order
On December 18, 2020, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an updated 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 and guidelines for Outdoor Seating Enclosures. 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 This order remains in effect until rescinded.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.
- All persons participating in gatherings are required to wear a face mask.
- Except as provided elsewhere in this order, a person responsible for a business, store, office, government office, school, organized event, or other operation, or an agent of such person, must prohibit gatherings of any kind unless the person requires individuals in such gatherings (including employees) to wear a face mask, and denies entry or service to all persons refusing to wear face masks while gathered.
LIMITS ON ATTENDANCE:
Outdoor gathering at non-residential venues are permitted only as follows:
- 25 or few persons without fixed seating, and attendance limited to 20 persons per 1,000 sq. feet, including any distinct area within the event space;
- 25 or fewer persons are gathered at a venue with fixed seating, and attendance is limited to 20% of seating capacity of the venue.
- The limitations to gatherings do not apply to incidental, temporary gatherings of persons in a shared space, such as frequently occur in a food establishment, or gatherings between an employee and customers for the purposes of receiving services.
- As a condition of hosting a gathering under this order, organizers and facilities must design the gathering to encourage and maintain physical distancing, and must ensure that persons not part of the same household maintain 6 feet of distance from one another to the extent possible.
- A gathering at a retail store must not exceed 30% of total occupancy limits established by the State Fire Marshal or a local fire marshal. Nevertheless, a retail store may permit one customer at a time to enter if strict adherence to the 30% total occupancy limit would otherwise result in closure. Spaces for indoor dining, including food courts, must be closed.
- Retail stores must establish lines to regulate entry and checkout, with markings for patrons to enable them to stand at least six feet apart from one another while waiting.
Gatherings are permitted at lower risk entertainment facilities and lower risk recreational facilities, provided that:
- Organizers do not permit persons to mingle with others from outside of their household.
- Household groups consist of no more than 6 persons;
- Households are spaced or seated at least 6 feet apart;
- No food or beverages are sold or consumed on the premises;
- Venues comply with the following capacity limits:
- For venues with fixed seating, occupancy must not exceed 20% of the limits established by the State Fire Marshal or local fire marshal;
- For venues with non-fixed seating, occupancy is limited to 20 persons per 1,000 square feet, including within any distinct space within the venue.
- For all venues, no more than 100 persons may be gathered within any distinct space within the venue, expect at stadiums and arenas hosting sporting events as provided in the order.
- This order continues to temporarily pause indoor dining in bars and restaurants, but they can continue to offer outdoor dining, carry-out, and delivery.
Persons participating in outdoor dining are seated no more than 6 to a table and tables are spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart.
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