The Latest: Michigan issues mask requirement, other measures

Full Screen
1 / 12

Michigan Governors Office

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 file photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer said Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, that a statewide mask requirement remains in effect despite the Michigan Supreme Court's invalidation of a law that underpins her orders to control the coronavirus pandemic. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan’s health department issued a mask requirement and other coronavirus restrictions Monday, just days after the state Supreme Court invalidated a 75-year-old emergency powers law that underpinned Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to control the pandemic.

The Democratic governor separately asked the court to declare its Friday ruling not binding until Oct. 30, to give her administration, the Republican-led Legislature and local health departments time to transition.

GOP leaders questioned delaying the court’s decision and prepared to return to session this month to codify an undetermined number of her 30-plus orders into law, such as one extending base unemployment benefits to 26 weeks from 20 weeks.

The ruling nullified all virus-related orders issued after April 30. It means Whitmer must negotiate with lawmakers to extend a state of emergency and any new COVID-19 orders she writes.

However, the administration can control an epidemic under a 1978 public health law that was not at issue in the case, though its authority is narrower. Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon required the wearing of masks at non-residential indoor and outdoor gatherings, limited gathering sizes, and ordered bars to close indoor common areas where people can dance or mingle and to sell alcohol only at tables kept at least 6 feet apart.

___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump says he’s leaving hospital for White House, feels good