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Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Protections for Nursing Homes Residents and Maintaining Special Hours of Operations at Grocery Stores for Vulnerable Michiganders
Lansing, MI (Blossomland News) - Today, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-148 and 2020-149, extending COVID-19 adaptation in long-term care facilities to protect residents and staff, and extending existing safety measures, including 2 hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations, to protect consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies.
“The frontline workers across the state have been the heroes of this pandemic and we must do everything we can to protect both them and our most vulnerable Michiganders.” said Governor Whitmer. “This virus is still widespread and poses a real danger to our families, and these extensions will be crucial in protecting both frontline workers, customers and our most vulnerable populations. I urge each and every one of us to do our part through physical distancing and masking up to help fight COVID-19.”
Executive Order 2020-148 maintains the strong infection control protocols in nursing homes the governor put in place at the outset of this crisis, and protects residents from eviction and employees from discriminatory action for staying home when exhibiting symptoms. Under the order, a long-term care facility is required to take specific precautions when a resident exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 — including informing employees of the facility. The order also requires nursing homes to use reasonable efforts to create dedicated units for residents affected by COVID-19. To ensure these units provide a safe environment that can meet the medical needs of COVID-19-affected residents, the order clarifies that nursing homes that create such units must provide adequate PPE to the direct care employees responsible for staffing the units and implement reliable and effective infection procedures. The governor’s order extends through August 10, 2020.
Protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our seniors and most vulnerable residents remains a top priority for the governor. Michigan offered and prioritized nursing home testing beginning in April for every resident, and as a result of that commitment to protecting our most vulnerable residents, the state has facilitated testing for over 35,600 residents and staff in nursing homes.
On Tuesday, June 16, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued an order requiring testing of all nursing home residents and staff going forward. The DHHS order creates the following testing requirements:
Requires initial testing of all residents and staff;
Requires testing of all new/returning residents during intake;
Requires testing any resident or staff member with symptoms or suspected exposure;
Requires weekly testing of all residents or staff in facilities with any positive case, until 14 days after last positive test;
Requires weekly testing of all staff in regions of medium or high risk on the MI Safe Start Map.
Executive Order 2020-149, which continues through August 10, 2020 and extends the following health and safety rules for grocery stores and pharmacies, among others:
Grocery stores and pharmacies must allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations.
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the business must notify other employees without infringing on private health information.
Grocery stores and pharmacies must offer accommodations to vulnerable employees, such as low-risk assignments or a leave of absence.
Source: Michigan Governor's Office Press Release
Written by: Nate Smith-Manley