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Michigan Department of Health and Human Services loosening visitation rules in hospitals

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 14:42:03-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is loosening hospital visitation rules.

“As we slowly and safely reopen our economy, it’s important to roll back emergency orders designed to deal with the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Grethen Whitmer said in a press release. “By rolling back executive orders, and allowing more people to visit their loved ones in hospitals, it sends a clear signal we are making progress in the fight against COVID-19 and continue to move in a positive direction.”

Additionally, Whitmer is rescinding the executive order which extends certain FOIA deadlines due to COVID-19.

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon issued an epidemic order, “Exceptions to temporary restrictions on entry into certain facilities,” that allows expanded visitation in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctor’s offices.

“Sometimes a visitor can be just the medicine a hospitalized patient needs to help them through their recovery,” said Gordon. “As long as strong precautions are taken to help ensure the health and safety of visitors, patients and staff, this order allows for exceptions to those restrictions.”

Those facilities are required to:

Limit visitor entry to designated entrances that allow proper screening;
Post signage at the visitor entrance instructing visitors to be assessed for symptoms of COVID-19 before entry and instructing persons who have symptoms of a respiratory infection, including, but not limited to, fever, cough, or shortness of breath to not enter the facility;
Perform a health evaluation of all individuals that are not under the care of the facility each time the individual seeks to enter the facility, and deny entry to those individuals who do not meet the evaluation criteria.
Strongly discourage entering any facility to visit persons at high risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19, including older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions;
Restrict visitation to the patient’s room or other designated locations;
Require visitors who are medically able to wear a mask or other cloth face covering for the duration of their visit, and swiftly remove from the facility visitors who fail to abide by this requirement;
For in-patient stays, make available on-site and off-site alternatives to in-person visits, such as video or audio calls;
Disallow visitation during aerosol-generating procedures or during collection of respiratory specimens unless deemed necessary by hospital staff for the care and well-being of the patient; and
Permit visitation only during select hours and limits the number of visitors per resident.

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