Zorn supports plan to help more people safely return to work

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday said he supports a new proposal designed to help Michigan workers return to their jobs safely and put the state’s economy back on track.

“When the governor failed to allow more workers to return to their normal lives safely and with proper precautions in her extended stay-at-home order, she failed millions of Michigan families,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Instead of putting more restrictions on people’s freedoms and livelihoods, the governor should have adopted responsible exemptions for workers to return to work if they are in low-risk jobs or for those who live in communities with little or no cases of COVID-19.

“I support the positive plan laid out by Senate Majority Leader Shirkey to phase-in efforts to get our economy going and enable people to provide for their families — while still protecting the public and our workers.”

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.

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.

“I hope the governor will seriously consider this commonsense proposal and start allowing the Michigan people to return to a sense of their normal lives if it can be done safely and with proper precautions to combat the spread of the virus,” Zorn said.