Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday allowing Michigan’s colleges and universities to move forward with converting large spaces for instruction without approval or inspection from the Bureau of Fire Services. The order will make it easier for education to continue while maintaining safe distancing, Whitmer said in a press release. 

“Our college students and educators have made tremendous sacrifices over the past four months to protect each other from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “When it comes to instruction in the fall, Michigan’s colleges and universities are working tirelessly to provide a safe environment for students and staff. I am committed to doing everything in my power to remove barriers for individuals, business and schools to fight COVID-19.” 

Under the order, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will issue further guidance governing temporary approval and the use of a space as an instructional facility, the release said. 

University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald told The Daily in an email that the executive order will be helpful as all of the state’s universities consider plans to reduce the density of classroom buildings. However, Fitzgerald said he’s not aware of any specific University plans to use larger spaces on campus for classroom instruction at the moment. 

Summer News Editor Calder Lewis can be reached at

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