Michigan working to boost hospital capacity, staff

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-13 yesterday to temporarily lift regulatory requirements on hospitals and care facilities and help ensure an adequate number of health care providers available to patients during the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Under the executive order, effective immediately and until Wednesday, April 15 at 11:59pm, The Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) may take steps to ensure more people receive care.

Executive Order 2020-13 grants LARA and DHHS authority to waive or defer certain requirements in order to expedite the process of bringing additional care facilities online during the COVID-19 emergency.

The order also empowers LARA to ensure an adequate supply of care providers during the emergency by granting the department additional flexibility in its decisions about licensing, registration, and workflow requirements.

“This is a crisis unlike any we’ve seen before, and we must do everything we can to ensure care for the most people,” said Governor Whitmer. “This executive order will help expand capacity so more people can access the care they need while we work to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. I will continue to work quickly with our partners in state government and with hospitals and care facilities to protect Michigan families.”

“Governor Whitmer is working around the clock with state government officials and our partners in the health care industry to ensure access to care for Michiganders,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “This executive order will help us meet that goal and help people across the state access the care they need. It’s a critical step at a time when we need all hands on deck to address this crisis.”

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus

 

For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM – 5PM daily.

 

To view executive order 2020-13, click the link below:

 

This press release will be translated and made available in Arabic and Spanish at www.michigan.gov/whitmer

 

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