LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Wednesday that executive orders restricting hospital visitations have been rescinded as the state’s battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic moves in a positive direction.
Effective immediately individuals can visit hospitals, outpatient clinics and doctor’s offices amid the pandemic with some restrictions still in place.
“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 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.”
Officials say facilities are required to implement the following protocols amid loosened visitation restrictions:
- 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 location
- 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
“Sometimes a visitor can be just the medicine a hospitalized patient needs to help them through their recovery,” said MDHHS Director Robert 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.”
Whitmer also rescinded an executive order that extends Freedom of Information Act deadlines due to COVID-19, effective June 11, in addition to executive orders 2020-39 and 2020-82 directed toward emergency medical service providers and the temporary licensure of nurses amid the pandemic.