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The Governor of Michigan has issued a new Executive Order, effective March 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and extending to April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm. The Governor will evaluate the continuing need for this Order prior to its expiration based on the best information available. The previous Executive Order remains in place, except to the extent that the new Executive Order imposes more stringent limitations.

For the Elks Lodges of Michigan, this means no more public or private gatherings of any size may take place at the Lodge. All Members are to remain home, subject to exceptions in the Executive Order. The exception that would apply to an Elks Lodge is in Section 4(b), which provides that “No person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence except to the extent that those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.” To conduct minimum basic operations, “in‐person presence” is limited to those strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, ensure security, process transactions, or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely. The term “workers” includes volunteers.

The Executive Order provides that businesses are to determine which workers are necessary to conduct minimum basic operations and to provide them with a written authorization to do so, which authorization must be issued no later than March 31st. This would allow entry into a Lodge by the Officers necessary to conduct the minimum basic operations of the Lodge, i.e., the Exalted Ruler, Secretary, Treasurer and Trustee Chairman. Entry by other Lodge Officers and Members is prohibited.

A number of Lodges have expressed interest in allowing the Red Cross to conduct Blood Drives at the Lodge facility. Such activities are permitted under the Executive Order, as “necessary to sustain or protect life” and those involved in that activity would be deemed “critical infrastructure workers.” The term critical infrastructure workers includes “workers engaged in Health care and public health.” So, a Lodge could provide access to the Red Cross for a Blood Drive by one of the Lodge Officers allowed entry into the Lodge.

Bottom line, all other Members are to Stay at Home and practice Social Distancing at all times. Regular Lodge Meetings and other meetings are prohibited at the Lodge and Lodge Officers and Members are encouraged to conduct Lodge business by telephone, e‐mail, or by a remote access meeting site on the web, including Officer Installations and Initiations.

Submitted by,
Ronald L. Hicks, PGER, James R. Deamud, SDGER and Paul Robinson, Area 4 COJ
3/23/2020 10:00pm

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