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Gov. Whitmer signs executive order expanding testing sites

Whitmer
Posted at 5:06 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 17:06:30-04

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-104, expanding COVID-19 testing criteria for COVID-19.

The executive order "expands the types of medical personnel that can order a test, and creates a new category of community testing sites that offer testing to anyone with reason to be tested without an advance order, and without charging an out-of-pocket cost to any Michigander," the governor's office said in a press release.

Under the executive order, anyone who leaves their home for work or has symptoms of COVID-19 can get a test at a community testing location without an order from a doctor.

“We need to keep working to expand testing, which is why it is crucial that Michiganders who have COVID-19 symptoms, even mild ones, or have been in contact with someone who has the virus can get tested,” Governor Whitmer said. “This Executive Order will pave the way for more community testing sites to open as we work towards our goal of 15,000 tests administered daily in Michigan. We owe it to the real heroes of this crisis — medical workers, first responders and other essential workers — to do what we can to stop the spread of the virus.”

Michigan residents eligible for testing include someone who meets the following criteria:
• Exhibits any symptom of COVID-19, including mild symptoms
• Has been exposed to a person with COVID-19
• Has been working outside their home for at least 10 days
• Resides in any congregate setting, such as a long-term care facility, prison or jail, homeless shelter, or migrant camp

If you wish to get a test, you can call the Michigan coronavirus hotline at 1-888-535-6136 or visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirustest.

Additionally, the governor's office announced the launch of an online dashboard that "visually illustrates COVID-19 risks and trends in Michigan, providing residents with important information about the pandemic status where they live and work," according to a press release from the governor's office.

Gov. Whitmer's office said the dashboard is divided into Michigan Economic Recovery Committee regions.

The governor's office said the regions were developed by "merging Michigan's Emergency Preparedness Regions and Michigan's labor sheds, which are the major areas of the state where people live and travel to work based on U.S. Department of Labor data, so that any outbreak resulting from a return to work could be handled effectively under public health laws."

COVID-19 data displayed on the dashboard includes death and test data analyzed to determine overall level of risk and key trends, the governor's office said. Additionally, the dashboard includes graphs, numbers and trends to show how COVID-19 is impacting a community and whether the spread is increasing or decreasing.

“The risk levels tell us whether there is high, medium or low risk of COVID-19 spread in a community and can help highlight areas where more social distancing may be needed, or where vulnerable individuals should be particularly careful,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.

The governor's office said the dashboard includes risk and capacity indicators that will be used to help inform the next phases of the MI Safe Start Plan. Those indicators fall into three categories: epidemic spread, health system capacity and public health capacity, the governor's office said.

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