Lansing, Mich., May 22, 2020 — Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 95 Tuesday evening. The order extends the protections for residents and workers at long-term care facilities included in its predecessor, Executive Order 84. It also includes some of the recommendations submitted to Whitmer last week by a workgroup of House Democrats. Among other changes, the new order provides an improved protocol for the transfer to hospitals and treatment of facility residents who might become infected.

“It is vital that we do everything we can for those living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities,” said Leslie Love (D-Detroit). “Many were already vulnerable, and the pandemic has only exacerbated their issues and concerns. Going forward, we will keep working with Gov. Whitmer for good solutions today, and tomorrow.”

The group consulted with medical professionals, leaders in long-term care and health experts to develop the recommendations.

“I’m encouraged by the changes made to the Executive Order,” said Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia). “I am grateful to the Governor and her administration for working with us and taking our recommendations to heart. The issues in our nursing homes will need continuous monitoring and additional work, but I believe this Executive Order is an important first step.”

One of the other recommendations made was to require nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to provide access to virtual visitation for residents and their families. The group has already secured 18 tablets for nursing homes and regional hubs in Wayne County, and are working to acquire more.

“It is important that we do everything we can to help preserve critical connections for seniors who live apart from their loved ones,” said Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham). “Video calls, while not a replacement for human connection, go a long way to comfort and reassure our loved ones when we can’t be with them.”

“Navigating this crisis and transitioning to our new normal is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Lori Stone (D-Warren). “So while I am pleased about the changes and progress we have already made, I am equally committed to continuing to work with my colleagues, experts and the Governor and her team. Because that’s how we get through this the right way—together.”