Sen. MacDonald supports ‘Open Michigan Safely’ plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Thursday said he fully supports a Senate Republican proposal to help Michigan workers return to their jobs safely and put the state’s economy back on track.

“Macomb families have done a great job rising to the challenge during this extraordinary time, and we need to continue doing our part to protect our communities,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “While our battle against COVID-19 continues, we need to begin planning for a transition back to normal life. I was disappointed the governor’s extended and expanded stay-at-home executive order failed to include commonsense changes to allow many workers to safely return to their jobs as long as health and safety protocols are implemented and followed.”

The Senate Republican “Open Michigan Safely” plan relies on measurable data points to serve as indicators of decreased risk. The proposal is structured in five phases that outline conditions in the state, suggest safe business operations, and propose guarded levels of public activity. The phases consider testing capability, hospital capacity, availability of personal protection equipment, and a vaccine or similar medical breakthrough to combat COVID-19.

“Instead of trying to define what work is essential, we should be focusing on what work can be done safely,” MacDonald said. “I hope the governor will seriously consider this plan as a way to safely enable more Michigan workers to support their families and our economy while also protecting themselves and others.”

The proposal would allow low-risk businesses to operate during Phase 1. Low-risk businesses are those with little to no physical contact between employers, employees and customers. People who can perform their jobs without the need for physical contact with another person would be allowed to resume work, such as workers who mow lawns or spray for outdoor pests.

Senate Republicans have shared the proposal with Gov. Whitmer and asked her to respond prior to April 30 on how it can be incorporated into short- and long-term plans for Michigan.