Michigan governor: Businesses must deny service without a mask

Michigan governor: Businesses must deny service without a mask
© getty: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D)

Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerWhitmer met with Biden days before VP announcement: report The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election Michigan GOP official refuses calls to resign while continuing to publicly use n-word MORE (D) signed an executive order Friday requiring all state residents to wear a mask in indoor public spaces in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

“The heroes on the front lines of this crisis have gone hours without taking their masks off every day — doctors, nurses, child care workers, grocery store workers. We owe it to them to wear our masks when we’re on a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy,” Whitmer said in a statement.

She added: “Masks can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70 percent. By wearing masks, we can save lives and protect our family, friends, and neighbors from the spread of COVID-19." 

The new order, which takes effect on Monday, requires businesses to turn away any person without a mask. Michigan residents can be fined $500 for willfully ignoring the order, but can't be arrested or jailed.

Whitmer noted that "every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new cases, and daily case counts now exceed 20 cases per million in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Lansing regions."

Michigan is just the latest state to require people wear masks when in public. The majority of states have seen some resurgence of COVID-19 in recent weeks, forcing some such as Texas and Florida to reimpose some economic restrictions to combat the virus.