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MDHHS issues new Emergency Orders

Posted at 2:51 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 14:51:37-04

LANSING, Mich. — On Tuesday Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order requiring K-12 schools to provide public notice about probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours.

The order requires local health departments to notify schools within 24 hours of learning of a probable or confirmed school-associated case of COVID-19.

Upon notification, schools must provide a highly visible public notification on the school’s website within 24 hours. Schools are encouraged to provide information about measures in place at the school to prevent transmission of COVID-19, as well as measures that individuals can take to prevent transmission.

“Recent outbreaks throughout the country demonstrate that COVID-19 can spread quickly in the school setting,” said Gordon. “Timely communication from schools to parents, guardians, students, teachers, staff and other persons affiliated with schools enables members of the school community to take measures to prevent spread of the virus.”

Local health departments will continue to provide direct notification to individuals who are, or are suspected, of being a close contact with a case associated with the school.

The order goes into effect Monday, Oct. 12.

Gordon also issued Emergency Orders under MCL 333.2253 that maintain protections for Michigan’s most vulnerable populations and staff in residential care settings.

The orders follow the Michigan Supreme Court decision on Friday, Oct 2, that invalidated COVID-19 related executive orders. Under the new order, if the MDHHS director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, they may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws.

The residential care order has three major components: notice requirements regarding cases, limitations on visitations and limitations on communal dining.

Violation of this order is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, or a fine of not more than $200, or both.

This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through Friday, Oct. 30.

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