By Bria Brown

LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT)Governor Whitmer signed an executive order Monday, extending COVID-19 adaptation in long-term care facilities to protect residents and staff.

Whitmer also extending 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.  

The governor’s order extends through August 10, 2020.

“This virus is still widespread and poses a real danger to our families, and these extensions will be crucial in protecting both frontline workers, customers and our most vulnerable populations. I urge each and every one of us to do our part through physical distancing and masking up to help fight COVID-19,” said Whitmer. 

The executive order 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 discriminatory action for staying home when exhibiting symptoms.

Under the order, a long-term care facility is required to take specific precautions when a resident exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 — including informing employees of the facility.

The order also requires nursing homes to use reasonable efforts to create dedicated units for residents affected by COVID-19. To ensure these units provide a safe environment that can meet the medical needs of COVID-19-affected residents, the order clarifies that nursing homes that create such units must provide adequate PPE to the direct care employees responsible for staffing the units and implement reliable and effective infection procedures.  

Here are 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.

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