Michigan governor extends protections for nursing home residents and staff, grocery store workers

Grocery stores and pharmacies must allocate shopping time for vulnerable populations

(Joe Raedle, 2020 Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended existing safety measures, including two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations, to protect consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies.   

“For the past five months, Michiganders have stepped up and done their part to fight COVID-19, and frontline workers in our hospitals, grocery stores, nursing homes, and more have put their own lives on the line to protect our families,” said Whitmer. “Our fight is not over yet, and that is why I am extending these protections to ensure employees, residents and customers are able to work and live in a safe environment.” 

Executive Order 2020-169 maintains the strong infection control protocols in nursing homes the governor put in place at the outset of this crisis, and protects residents from eviction and employees from retaliatory action for staying home when exhibiting symptoms. Executive Order 2020-169 extends through September 7.   

Her administration says the health and safety of nursing home residents and staff remain a top priority. On June 26, she created the bipartisan Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). She also signed Executive Order 2020-156 which continues the limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations.  

Executive Order 2020-168, which continues through September 7, extends the following health and safety rules for grocery stores and pharmacies, among others:  

· Grocery stores and pharmacies must allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations.  

· If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the business must notify other employees without infringing on private health information.  

· Grocery stores and pharmacies must offer accommodations to vulnerable employees, such as low-risk assignments or a leave of absence. 

Coronavirus in Michigan: