FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2020
Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Enhancing, Expanding Protections for Residents and Employees of Long-Term Care Facilities
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-95, which extends and further enhances protections for the health and safety of residents and employees of long-term care facilities. The order expands on protections provided in Executive Order 2020-50 and provides clear procedures for facilities and hospitals to follow when residents test positive for or experience symptoms of COVID-19. The order takes effect immediately and continues through June 17.
“It’s critical that employees at long-term care facilities have access to the resources they need so they can properly care for our loved ones, and that COVID-19-positive residents have a safe place to recover while isolating from other residents,” Governor Whitmer said. “These employees put their lives on the line every day to care for our most vulnerable residents, and we owe it them to do whatever we can to ensure their safety and the safety of the people they care for.”
Executive Order 2020-95 provides for a holistic decision-making process so that COVID-19-affected residents will only be discharged from a hospital to a facility that is capable of safely isolating the resident. In doing so, the order requires all hospital discharges be made consistent with current CDC and DHHS guidance. To ensure residents and employees are receiving the protections it affords, Executive Order 2020-95 authorizes the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to take actions necessary to assure the proper level of care and services in connection with this order.
“The COVID-19 pandemic poses a particularly dire threat to the health and safety of residents and employees of long-term care facilities,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “This Executive Order will ensure residents of long-term care facilities get the care they need while mitigating the spread of COVID-19 to protect other residents and employees at the facility.”
Additionally, under Executive Order 2020-95, 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.
Finally, the order also protects residents from eviction and employees from disciplinary action for staying home when exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to mitigate the risk of infecting others.
To view Executive Order 2020-95, click the links below: