LANSING – Today, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-178 and 2020-179 to continue to protect frontline workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities.
The governor’s order continues to require stores provide two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations, to protect consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies. Executive Order 2020-179 will carry on protections for both staff and residents by requiring strong health and safety precautions such as testing, cleaning and disinfecting, PPE, and social distancing.
“Michigan has worked hard to fight COVID-19, but the fight is not over yet. We can’t let our guard down and must continue to step up to do our part to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Frontline workers in our hospitals, grocery stores, nursing homes, and more have put their own lives on the line to protect our families,” said Governor Whitmer.
“By extending these orders, we can protect our frontline heroes and most vulnerable populations from this virus and ensure they are able to work and live in a safe environment.”
Executive Order 2020-179 continues through September 30 and 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.
From day one of the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Whitmer has taken action to protect seniors. In addition to the executive orders implementing these protections, she has worked tirelessly to procure tests and PPE to keep seniors safe, and to facilitate testing for all nursing home residents and staff, with little to no assistance from federal authorities.
This week the Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force issued several recommendations. The governor is carefully reviewing those recommendations and will implement any changes as soon as that review is complete.
Executive Order 2020-178, which continues through September 30, extends health and safety rules for grocery stores and pharmacies, including:
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.