MDHHS Epidemic Order
On April 19, 2021, 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 Capacity Limits Fact Sheet. This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through May 24, 2021
Please be advised of the following requirements that apply to agritourism operations, but please review the full order for a complete list of requirements.
GENERAL CAPACITY LIMITATIONS FOR NON-RESIDENTIAL VENUES:
Indoor gatherings at non-residential venues are prohibited, except where no more than 25 persons are gathered.
Outdoor gatherings at non-residential venues are permitted only as follows:
1. Where 300 or fewer persons are gathered.
- 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 group maintain 6 feet of distance from one another to the extent possible.
GATERHING RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES, RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, AND FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS:
Gatherings are prohibited at entertainment facilities and recreational facilities unless:
(1) Venues and activities held at those venues comply with masking and distancing requirements in this subsection. Venues that cannot consistently adhere to these requirements (e.g., water parks, or children’s indoor playgrounds inasmuch as staff are not present to prevent physical contact) may not be open.
(A) Patrons must remain masked at all times, except when eating or drinking in designated areas;
(B) Groups of patrons participating in activities together must not exceed 25 persons indoors, or 300 persons outdoors;
(C) Patrons must be prevented from mingling with or engaging in physical contact with persons outside their group; and
(D) For sports practice and competition, participants must comply with the restrictions set forth in section
(2) If participating in stationary activities, groups are spaced or seated at least 6 feet apart. If participating in non-stationary activities, groups maintain a consistent 6 feet of distance from other groups at all times
(3) Consumption of food or beverages is permitted only where patrons are seated, groups of patrons are separated by at least 6 feet, no more than 6 patrons are seated at a table, and groups of patrons do not intermingle;
(4) Venues that are also food service establishments, as a condition of offering food or beverages, ensure their designated dining areas comply with all requirements in subsection (b);
(5) Venues abide by the following density limitations:
(A) Where applicable, occupancy must not exceed 50% of the limits established by the State Fire Marshal or a local fire marshal; and |
(B) Groups must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times;
(6) Venues abide by the following maximum capacity limitations:
(A) For indoor entertainment and recreational facilities, no more than 300 patrons may be gathered within any distinct space within the venue;
(B) For outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities and for stadiums and arenas, except as provided in subsection (E), no more than 1,000 patrons may be gathered;
Gatherings are prohibited at food service establishments, whether indoor or outdoor, unless:
(1) Consumption of food or beverages is permitted only in a designated dining area where patrons are seated, groups of patrons are separated by at least 6 feet, no more than 6 patrons are seated together (at a table, booth, or group of fixed seats), and groups of patrons do not intermingle;
(2) Patrons are not permitted to gather in common areas in which people can congregate, dance, or otherwise mingle;
(3) In the event that an employee of a food service establishment is confirmed positive for COVID-19 or shows principal symptoms of COVID-19 while at work, the food service establishment has been deep cleaned consistent with Food and Drug Administration and CDC guidance;
(4) At establishments offering indoor dining:
(A) The number of patrons indoors (or in a designated dining area of a multipurpose venue) does not exceed 50% of normal seating capacity, or 100 persons, whichever is less, provided, however, that this limitation does not apply to soup kitchens and shelters;
(B) At food service establishments, or the designated dining area of a multipurpose venue, indoor dining is closed between the hours of 11:00 PM and 4:00 AM;
(C) The venue displays, in a prominent location, the MDHHS “Dining During COVID-19” brochure.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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