COVID-19 April 27 Update
Questions on New “Safer at Home” Executive Order
What did not change?
- We are still encouraged to stay home. Non-essential travel is discouraged. Non-essential business travel should be minimized.
- Social distancing is still in place. Avoid groups of 10 or more, stay 6 feet apart, and aggressively wash your hands.
- You may leave your house to perform activities necessary to your health or welfare such as obtain medical supplies and food.
- You may leave your house to engage in personal outdoor activity or recreation.
- You may leave your house to go to work.
- Vulnerable adults are still advised to shelter-in-place.
- No visits to nursing homes unless it is an end-of-life situation.
- All non-essential gatherings of groups of 10 people or more are prohibited and should be canceled or rescheduled to a later date.
- Restaurants are still limited to curbside and delivery or pickup service only.
- The new “Safer at Home” Executive Order effective until May 11, 2020.
Some businesses cannot re-open under the executive order.
- Places of amusement remain closed.
- Salons, barbershops, gyms and fitness facilities remain closed, except they can open in order to sell retail sales products if they can do so in a curbside manner only. For example, this would be hair care products for a beauty salon.
- State parks are closed, except that beaches, state park lakes, state lakes and reservoirs may remain open as limited in prior Executive Order 1473.
Which businesses can open?
- All businesses, including nonprofits, can open subject to limitations, including requirements that they maximize use of work from home or other telework procedures and that they observe CDC and MDOH guidelines regarding social distancing.
- Retail businesses can open, so long as:
- they observe CDC and MDOH guidelines regarding social distancing
- they use of protective equipment for employees
- they use no more than 50% of their space capacity
- they send home sick employees or employees with respiratory conditions
- they adopt regular hand-washing protocols
- they regularly clean high-contact surface areas such as door knobs and cash register surfaces and credit card machines
- they screen employees before each shift for sickness.
- they provided hand-sanitizer for customers and employees
What about healthcare services?
- Health care facilities and practitioners may resume non-emergent procedures.
- However, certain restrictions apply, such as they may not request PPE from any public source, they must comply with social distancing guidelines, must avoid being in the same space as patients where possible through the use of telemedicine, and they must limit the number of people in the waiting rooms.
What about dentists?
- The greatest confusion has surrounded what dentists can do.
- Even though the order says dentists may resume non-emergent services, we are now being told that is not the case.
- As a result of the confusion surrounding this part of the order, the Department of Health issued a 13-page clarification yesterday.
- It is my understanding that the Board of Dental Examiners is working to disseminate that to all dentists, so if you are a dentist, please contact the Board of Dental Examiners for questions and direction.
Local Government Restrictions
- Remember local governments may continue to issue stricter orders so long as they do not inhibit the operation of essential businesses and activities.
Update on number of cases.
- The incidents of infection have stabilized, and therefore, the demand on hospital resources such as ventilators and ICU beds has diminished.
- A robust testing program is in place, which makes us capable of promptly detecting an increase in the rate of infection should it occur.
- Therefore, the Department of Health believes the health care system is to a point where it is capable of treating persons with Covid-19 and has the capacity to react to any increase in the rate of infection.
Call if you need help.
- We have had phone calls to our office forwarded to our staff. If you need any help at all, please call us at 601-359-3300.
- We have also set up an email address for you to ask questions or seek help. That address is [email protected].