Michigan Supreme Court Rules Governor Cannot Continue State of Emergency Without Legislative Approval - Long-Term Care Facilities Should Continue to Follow Orders
Today the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Governor Whitmer does not have the authority to declare the state of emergency without legislative approval. The ruling applies to both the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act and the 1976 Emergency Management Act, and the state of emergency could not be extended by the Governor after the legislature declined to extend on April 30. You can find the order by clicking HERE.
Governor Whitmer has stated that the emergency order remains in effect for the next 21 days, and her corresponding emergency orders, including department orders, also remain in effect. You can find the governor's statement by clicking HERE.
Nursing facilities, homes for the aged, adult foster care, independent living and unlicensed assisted living settings should continue operating as if the emergency orders are still in effect. HCAM/MCAL will provide updates as the situation progresses.
MDHHS Releases Updated FAQs on Outdoor Visitation
On Friday October 2, 2020 the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) released an updated FAQ document related to Director Gordon's September 10th Epidemic Order providing guidance on outdoor visitation.
The Emergency Orders regarding visitation apply to Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Adult Foster Care, and Home for the Aged facilities. The FAQ document addresses several areas including:
- Guidelines for local health department risk determinations
- Voting Assistants
- Volunteer assistance with outdoor visitation
Governor Whitmer Moves Upper Peninsula to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan
Following an uptick in COVID cases, Governor Gretchen Whitmer moved the Upper Peninsula (UP) back to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan on Friday afternoon. The directive was issued as Executive Order 2020-192 and will go into effect on October 9, 2020.
The Executive Order changes that will impact the UP include:
- People who can perform their work remotely will be required to do so;
- Social gatherings and organized events will be subject to the new Phase 4 limits in Executive Order 2020-183: indoor residential - 10 people or less; indoor non-residential may allow more, depending on the size of the facility and subject to formulas in the order.
- Stores of less than 50,000 square feet must limit number of people in store, including employees, to 25 percent of total occupancy limits. Stores of 50,000 square feet or more must limit customers to no more than 20 people per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space, and allow 2 hours of week dedicating shopping time for vulnerable populations.
- Schools must require face coverings at certain times, including in the classroom, among other requirements.
Long term care providers in the UP should continue weekly staff COVID testing and confer with local health departments regarding continued use of outdoor visitation.
For questions or concerns please contact Cathy Sunlin at CathySunlin@HCAM.org.
October 2, 2020