The director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an emergency order that requires masks, limits the size of gatherings, and limits capacity in bars and restaurants.

The order, issued Monday afternoon, was signed by MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. The order requires that masks be worn when in public (this includes schools), that indoor gatherings at private residences be limited to ten people or less, outdoor gatherings at private residences must be limited to one hundred people or less, and restaurants and bars must continue to keep areas such as dance floors closed.

Director Gordon said in a statement,

We won’t need these orders forever. I have asked for feedback on today’s order, and I pledge to review the specific elements by October 30. The day can’t come soon enough when a vaccine and therapeutic drugs make normal life safer again. For now, public action is critical to saving Michiganders’ lives.

As for the legality of the order, MCL 333.2253 states that if the MDHHS director, by emergency order, may prohibit the gathering of people and may establish procedures to be followed to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws, if they determine that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health.

This is a developing story.