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MDHHS issues epidemic order in wake of Michigan Supreme Court ruling

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 22:13:39-04

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an epidemic order Monday to keep in place COVID-19 safety rules that the state’s Supreme Court struck down last week.

The order includes requiring masks, limiting gatherings and safeguarding nursing homes, according to a news release.

MDHHS’ order comes from a legal authority not at issue in Friday’s case.

That case and the court’s decision rested on something called “the nondelegation doctrine,” which hasn’t been used to invalidate a Michigan statute ever before.

The legal authority state health officials are acting under was established specifically in response to the Spanish Flu in 1918, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said.

Risks around COVID-19 are rising again because of students being back in school, colder weather moving people indoors and the approaching flu season.

“As in the spring, orders are still critical to make clear the shared norms that each of us must follow so all of us can stay healthy,” Gordon said. “For those of us who sometimes waver – and after seven months, that’s most of us – orders require us, as a matter of law and civic responsibility, to stay the course and protect each other.”

Read the full MDHHS order here.