Mi. Gov. Issues Order Prohibiting Visits at Health & Juvenile Justice Facilities

by Josh Colletta

· Hillsdale Hospital Issues Statement Echoing Restrictions; Clarifies Application at Specific Units

· Additional E.O. Attempts to Limit Price Gouging

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order prohibiting visitation at all health care and juvenile justice facilities in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19.

The order — effective immediately and lasting through 5:00 PM on April 5th — applies to all health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities in Michigan. Those institutions must prohibit any visitors who are not necessary for the provision of medical care, the support of activities of daily living, or the exercise of power of attorney or court-appointed guardianship for an individual under the facility’s care.

Parents, foster parents, or guardians of an individual who is 21 years of age or under are exempt, but only if the patient is in serious or critical condition or in hospice care. They must be visiting under exigent circumstances or for the purpose of performing official governmental functions.

Additionally, beginning as soon as possible — but no later than March 16, 2020 at 9:00 am — all of those same facilities must perform a health evaluation of all individuals that are not under the care of the facility before they enter the facility. If the person attempting entry shows symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat; and has had contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, that person will not be allowed to enter the facility. That restriction also continues through April 5th at 5:00 pm.

Any violations of the executive order will be a misdemeanor offense.

In response, Hillsdale Hospital has issued a statement echoing the executive order’s mandates and adding a few of their own.

All entry to Hillsdale Hospital will now be restricted to the main entrance only. The hospital has also clarified that all deliveries that are not necessary to the operation of the hospital will also be prohibited. Flowers, mail, and food deliveries will not be allowed.

Additionally, Hillsdale Hospital has given the specifics of how these visitor restrictions will be applied to some of their units:

  • McGuire & MacRitchie Skilled Nursing Units: no visitors will be permitted unless visiting patients under end-of-life care.
  • Birthing & Women’s Health Center: One visitor per obstetrics patient for the duration of their stay (labor, delivery, and post-partum).
  • Emergency Room: One visitor per patient for the duration of that patient’s stay. The visitor may be asked to stay in the ER waiting room.

At the state level, you can learn more at michigan.gov/coronavirus. Hillsdale Hospital also has a page set up at hillsdalehospital.com/coronavirus.

In a separate executive order, Whitmer has also made an effort to tamp down on price gouging in Michigan. Starting tomorrow, products that were bought from a retailer cannot be resold at a price grossly in excess of the purchase price. “Gross excess” is not defined in the order.

Additionally, and also beginning tomorrow, no product for sale may be priced more than 20% higher than what it was being sold for as of March 9th unless the seller can prove that the price increase is due to an increase in the cost of bringing it to market.

That order is in effect until 11:59 PM on April 13th.