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Whitmer says workers exposed to COVID-19 can’t be punished for staying home

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued another COVID-19-related executive order. The order says employees who think they have the disease have a right to stay home.

It also says businesses cannot fire or punish employees who stay home because they show symptoms or think they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. The order also covers workers who have to care for someone at home who’s sick with COVID-19.

The order does not apply to health care workers who constantly risk exposure as part of their jobs.

In a written statement, the governor said it’s a matter of fairness to workers. And she says it’s a critical public health protection to encourage people who have symptoms or been exposed to the virus to stay home.

Symptoms include a fever, atypical cough or unusual shortness of breath.

Confirmed cases in Michigan rose by nearly 2,000 to about 12,700, and the number of coronavirus-related deaths jumped by 62 to 479.

The governor has already ordered schools and many businesses closed in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. This order applies to businesses not already covered by previous orders.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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