Michigan Governor Eases Restrictions on Garden Centers, Greenhouses
On April 24, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eased some of the restrictions of her previous COVID-19 executive orders that were having a detrimental impact on the state’s horticulture-related companies.
At a press conference, Whitmer did extend the stay-at-home order for Michigan citizens until May 15, but she also announced that the state was lifting some of the restrictions on certain types of business such as garden centers.
Earlier this month, Whitmer issued an Executive Order that was among the most restrictive in the country and did not allow garden centers and growers to be open for business. This included cordoning off garden centers in big box retailers.
According to the Detroit News, lawn services, garden centers, nurseries and landscapers can re-open for business but must adhere to “enhanced” social distancing rules and must limit the number of workers to those “strictly necessary to perform the in-person work.”
The Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) released a statement to its members saying,
“We are pleased to report that through our collective efforts our industry has been exempted in Executive Order No. 2020-59 and we are allowed to go back to work. REMEMBER: We are still in a pandemic and we must be diligent in following safety protocols in order to keep everyone in our industry safe. If you cannot work safely, then please do not go back to work.
Working is now a privilege that we must not take lightly or it will be taken away.
We are still under a Stay-at-Home Order, which means that people are home and are going to be watching everything that goes on in their neighborhoods.
It is important that under this scrutiny our industry as a collective whole is showing that we are following the safety protocols and are keeping our employees and customers safe.”
The MNLA also had specific details on what garden centers and growers need to know as the return to work. You can learn more at www.mnla.org.
A post on the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council’s Facebook page had these safety measures/recommendations for garden centers including:
- Online shopping/call ahead orders/curbside pickup and delivery
- Limiting customers near cash registers and in the store
- Marking the floor at check-out to encourage proper social distancing
- Sanitizing all carts, baskets, door handles and credit card keypads
- Requiring staff to sanitize regularly and have sanitizer for you customers
- Requiring staff and customers to social distance in the store
- Asking staff and customers to stay home if exhibiting any symptoms.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.