LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has loosened restrictions on hospital visitations that were imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Whitmer also took back executive orders that temporarily enhanced hospital capacity and waived restrictions on emergency medical services this week.
MDHHS Director Robert Gordon issued an epidemic order this week, “Exceptions to temporary restrictions on entry into certain facilities”, that allows expanded visitation in hospitals, outpatient clinics and doctor’s offices.
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 who 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.
- Permit visitation only during select hours and limits the number of visitors per resident.
Whitmer also rolled back on temporary extensions of certain FOIA deadlines due to COVID-19. Whitmer has said the rollbacks and resumption of services through the state is evidence of improvements in dealing with the disease. Lansing announced declining new cases and deaths in late May and launched a COVID-19 dashboard with enhanced data representation.
“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,” Whitmer said. “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.”