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Michigan Issues Updated Guidance about COVID-19 Symptoms

September 2, 2020

Governor Whitmer previously issued a series of executive orders that contain employee protections against discharge, discipline, or retaliation for quarantining due to their own or their close contacts’ symptoms of COVID-19.  We provided detailed analysis of these protections here.  Most recently, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-172, which updates the principal symptoms of COVID-19 for the purposes of qualifying for the protections.

Executive Order No. 2020-172 divides COVID-19 symptoms into two categories.  The first category includes fever, an uncontrolled cough, and shortness of breath.  The employee or individual need only display one of the first category symptoms to trigger the protections of the executive order.  The second category includes loss of taste or smell, muscle aches (“myalgia”), sore throat, severe headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.  The employee or individual must display at least two of the second category symptoms to trigger the protections of the executive order.

This new executive order may require changes to existing screening protocols used by Michigan employers.  If you have questions about this or any other workforce issue, please do not hesitate to contact your relationship attorney or one of Honigman’s Labor and Employment attorneys.