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 This order remains in effect until rescinded.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.

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).

Recommended Best Practices for Agritourism Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The following are recommended best practices to implement at your agritourism operation to keep customers, employees and animals safe.

1. Social Distancing

Ensure six feet of separation between parties or groups - people in the
same party do not have to be six feet apart

– Close or limit traffic in high-density areas of the operation

- Consider moving indoor classes, tours and events outdoors to increase allowed capacities, and to provide better ventilation and social distancing capabilities.

2. Sanitation & Hygiene

– Post signage asking customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.

– Conduct frequent cleaning


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

Provide handwashing stations and/or sanitizing station in outdoor
operations where customers will handle food or produce.

– Consider closing off high touch surfaces

3. Personal Protective Equipment

–Employers are required to provide facial coverings to all employees.

Ensure that all employees and customers wear face coverings, especially indoors.

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.

4. Administrative Controls

-Operators must have a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and make it readily available to employees and customers; train employees; and supervise implementation.

-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:

- Create a policy to keep symptomatic employees home:

Resources for Assistance:

Additional Resources:

 If you have any questions, please contact us at or 616-952-1151.