Detroit issues COVID-19 Public Health Order to keep residents and businesses safe


Goal: Continuity and Certainty for Detroiters in Covid-19 Enforcement

  • With uncertainty in Lansing, Mayor & Chief Public Health Officer say Detroiters will be protected

  • Detroiters’ percent positivity rating of 1.8% is lower than 3.4% in surrounding region

  • Order includes mask & distancing requirements, clear guidance for bars, restaurants, K-12 schools, workplaces and public gatherings

DETROIT, Oct. 9, 2020 — As lawmakers in Lansing debate the authority of the Governor and State to implement orders to protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Detroit is taking action to keep residents and businesses safe, Mayor Mike Duggan announced today. Today, Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair issued a new COVID-19 public health order that serves to reinstate aspects of emergency rulings previously issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which were struck down by the state’s High Court late last week.

“We have been in full support of the Governor’s orders and the steps she has taken to keep all Michiganders safe,” said Mayor Duggan. “With the legal uncertainty in Lansing, we wanted clear guidelines for Detroiters based on clear legal grounds. Whether you’re going to the store, work or school, a restaurant or larger gathering, the Detroit Health Department order provides certainty and provides continuity with the Governor’s orders.

The new order, which takes effect immediately, tracks nearly identically to the Governor’s orders to provide consistency and will be amended to stay consistent with any changes the Governor may issue. The Detroit order offers guidance to cover seven key areas, which are summarized below. The complete order can be found on the city’s website by visiting

  • Face coverings - The order requires that appropriate face coverings must be worn at indoor and outdoor gatherings, and where that is not possible, social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained. Masks must be worn when using buses or other forms of public transportation

  • DDOT - Clear direction for passengers: No mask, no ride

  • Bars/restaurants/casinos – The order states capacity limitations, social distancing and mask requirements for all patrons and employees. The order also stipulates that business owners must provide access to public health inspectors upon request

  • Gatherings – The order provides allowable gathering sizes, social distancing and mask requirements

  • Workplaces – The order provides masks must be worn, social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained, COVID-19 preparedness and response plans must be developed and remote work should be performed when possible

  • Schools – The order requires K-12 schools to publicly disclose any probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases on their website within 24 hours of learning of the cases

  • Other Public Accommodations – Under the order, bowling alleys, theaters, gyms and other venues are allowed to operate so long as they comply with the rules for workplaces and gatherings

Fair said the order will remain in effect until she certifies that the epidemic has sufficiently abated.

Detroit remains among state’s lowest percent positivity rates

The new public health order comes as Detroit’s COVID-19 rates continue to fall versus surrounding areas, with a 1.8 percent positivity rating compared with 3.4 percent positivity rating for the Detroit region. Detroit has been able to keep its percent positivity rate down thanks to the communitywide access to testing and how well Detroiters have complied with safety and health protocols, such as wearing masks, avoiding large crowds and socially distancing.

“We are taking these steps to continue the downward trend for infection rates in the city of Detroit,” says Fair. “My commitment to Detroiters is to use every means at my disposal to keep residents safe throughout this public health emergency. Having this new order in place will provide clarity and help make sure that Detroit maintains one of the state's lowest rates of infection by giving the health department the continued right to enforce.

For details on the Detroit Health Department COVID-19 Public Health Order, visit

Detroit Means Business to provide free PPE to small biz

As another layer to the city's effort to protect small businesses and the public, its Detroit Means Business program will be providing free masks and gloves to small businesses starting October 21. For more information on free PPE distribution, as well as easy-to-understand guides and other resources related to this new order, please visit

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