Gov. Whitmer expands executive order protecting residents, employees of long-term care facilities

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Posted at 10:17 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 16:13:08-04

LANSING (WXYZ) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Wednesday a new executive order that expands on a current order providing protections for residents and employees of long-term care facilities during the pandemic.

Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-95, which expands on protections provided in Executive Order 2020-50.

“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.”

The order provides clear procedures for facilities and hospitals to follow if a resident tests positive for the coronavirus, or even if they experience symptoms. The order takes effect immediately.

With the updated order, there is a decision-making process for when residents infected with COVID-19, that determines how they are discharged from a hospital to a facility capable of safely isolating them.

The order requires that all hospital discharges are 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, a release from the governor's office states.

Additionally, when a resident shows symptoms of COVID-19, the facility is required to immediately inform employees. These facilities must also create dedicated units for residents affected by COVID-19, and these units must "provide adequate PPE to the direct care employees responsible for staffing the units and implement reliable and effective infection procedures."

Employees are also protected against disciplinary action for staying home when showing COVID-19 symptoms, and residents are prtected from eviction.

Read the full order here.

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