Executive Order 2020-152: Training of pharmacists

EXECUTIVE ORDER

 

No. 2020-152

 

Training of pharmacists

 

Rescission of Executive Order 2020-124
 

 

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness

or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans

and easily spread from person to person. There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral

treatment for this disease.

                                                           

On March 10, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services identified the first two presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. On that same day, I issued Executive Order 2020-4. This order declared a state of emergency across the state of Michigan under section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, as amended (EMA), MCL 30.401 et seq., and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, 1945 PA 302, as amended (EPGA), MCL 10.31 et seq.

 

Since then, the virus spread across Michigan, bringing deaths in the thousands, confirmed

cases in the tens of thousands, and deep disruption to this state’s economy, homes, and

educational, civic, social, and religious institutions. On April 1, 2020, in response to the

widespread and severe health, economic, and social harms posed by the COVID-19

pandemic, I issued Executive Order 2020-33. This order expanded on Executive Order

2020-4 and declared both a state of emergency and a state of disaster across the State of

Michigan under section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Emergency

Management Act, and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945. And on April 30,

2020, finding that COVID-19 had created emergency and disaster conditions across the

State of Michigan, I issued Executive Order 2020-67 to continue the emergency declaration

under the EPGA, as well as Executive Order 2020-68 to issue new emergency and disaster

declarations under the EMA.

 

Those executive orders have been challenged in Michigan House of Representatives and

Michigan Senate v. Whitmer. On May 21, 2020, the Court of Claims ruled that Executive

Order 2020-67 is a valid exercise of authority under the Emergency Powers of the Governor

Act but that Executive Order 2020-68 is not a valid exercise of authority under the

Emergency Management Act. Both of those rulings are being challenged on appeal.

 

On June 18, 2020, I issued Executive Order 2020-127, again finding that the COVID-19

pandemic constitutes a disaster and emergency throughout the State of Michigan. That

order constituted a state of emergency declaration under the Emergency Powers of the

Governor Act of 1945. And, to the extent the governor may declare a state of emergency and

a state of disaster under the Emergency Management Act when emergency and disaster

conditions exist yet the legislature had declined to grant an extension request, that order

also constituted a state of emergency and state of disaster declaration under that act.

 

The Emergency Powers of the Governor Act provides a sufficient legal basis for issuing this

executive order. In relevant part, it provides that, after declaring a state of emergency, “the

governor may promulgate reasonable orders, rules, and regulations as he or she considers

necessary to protect life and property or to bring the emergency situation within the

affected area under control.” MCL 10.31(1).

 

Nevertheless, subject to the ongoing litigation and the possibility that current rulings may

be overturned or otherwise altered on appeal, I also invoke the Emergency Management

Act as a basis for executive action to combat the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the

effects of this emergency on the people of Michigan, with the intent to preserve the rights

and protections provided by the EMA. The EMA vests the governor with broad powers and

duties to “cop[e] with dangers to this state or the people of this state presented by a disaster

or emergency,” which the governor may implement through “executive orders,

proclamations, and directives having the force and effect of law.” MCL 30.403(1)–(2). This

executive order falls within the scope of those powers and duties, and to the extent the

governor may declare a state of emergency and a state of disaster under the Emergency

Management Act when emergency and disaster conditions exist yet the legislature has not

granted an extension request, they too provide a sufficient legal basis for this order.

 

Executive Order 2020-124 and its predecessors provided temporary and limited relief from certain regulatory restrictions regarding pharmacies, in order to enhance their operational capacity, flexibility, and efficiency at the height of the pandemic. Although COVID-19 remains aggressive and persistent, the demands on pharmacy operations have subsided, reducing the need for these measures. This order therefore extends only those provisions that relate to the training of student pharmacists, as it remains reasonable and necessary to continue to develop Michigan’s pharmacist talent notwithstanding the challenges of conducting in-person instruction brought on by the pandemic. With this order, Executive Order 2020-124 is rescinded.

 

 

Acting under the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I order the following:

 

  1. To increase the number of pharmacists who can serve patients during this time of need, preceptors may supervise student pharmacists remotely to fulfill eligibility for licensure and avoid delaying graduation. Strict compliance with any statute or regulation inconsistent with this section is suspended.

 

  1. This order will remain in effect during any state of emergency or state of disaster related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  1. Executive Order 2020-124 is rescinded.

 

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Michigan.