MidMichigan Health Implements Governor’s Orders on Temporary Restrictions on Entry into Care Facilities
Governor Whitmer has ordered temporary restrictions on entry into care facilities, which include all hospitals, congregate care facilities and juvenile justice facilities. The order states that beginning March 14, 2020, and continuing through April 5, 2020, at 5 p.m., these facilities must prohibit from entering their facilities any visitors that are not necessary for the provision of medical care or the support of activities of daily living, or that are not visiting under exigent circumstances, such as grave illness or imminent death of a family member under care in the facility. MidMichigan Health has implemented these new restrictions to its facilities as of this morning.
“We fully support Governor Whitmer’s decision to implement these restrictions,” said Lydia Watson, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, MidMichigan Health. “Due to the escalating circumstances with COVID-19, it is our responsibility as health care providers to do whatever we can to limit the spread of the virus and to keep our patients, employees, health care providers and volunteers safe.”
The Governor’s order also requires that no later than Monday, March 16 at 9 a.m., facilities must assess for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors for all individuals not under their care who are seeking entry into their facilities. The facilities must deny entry to any individual with these symptoms or risk factors. These restrictions will remain in place until April 5, 2020 at 5 p.m.
“The best way we can mitigate this virus is for all us to be vigilant. Please continue to share with your family, friends, loved ones and neighbors that for the safety of all, if they think they have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, they are to call their health care provider immediately for instruction,” continued Dr. Watson. “If their provider office is closed or they do not have a provider, they are to please contact Urgent Care or the Emergency Department prior to coming for direction on next steps.”
MidMichigan offers several free electronic communication services that can help family and friends keep in touch while these visiting restrictions are in effect:
“We can’t stress enough that the best way to prevent the spread of this virus is social distancing and proper hygiene, such as hand washing and not touching our faces,” Dr. Watson. “With these two measures we are all significantly less likely to get the illness.”
As a service to the community, MidMichigan Health has also published a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600.
Those interested in learning more about COVID-19 may visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.