Pharmacy News

COVID Workplace Rules To Be Extended, Whitmer Says, But Work Ongoing

Soon-to-expire emergency rules setting forth wide-ranging regulations on what employees can perform in-person work and safety protocols for those employees will be extended for six months, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Monday though she added changes will likely be made sometime during those six months according to a report by Gonger News Service.

In October, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued emergency rules, which last for six months, largely replicating the defunct executive orders on workplace requirements. Under those rules, which expire this week, in-person work can only take place if the work cannot be done remotely and there are extensive requirements for employers and employees engaging in in-person work.

The Administrative Procedures Act allows for those rules to be extended one time, for another six months.

Ms. Whitmer, speaking to reporters in Ypsilanti, said Monday that MIOSHA will extend the rules to keep a framework in place while work continues to set up a back-to-work protocol sometime this year.

"When we do extend them, which we will, people are going to think that means you can't go to the office for another six months, and that's not the case," she said. "But by law we have to give this second extension so that we've got some of the tools."

Given the state's high case rates and positivity rates, now is not the time to end the rules, Ms. Whitmer said.

Several of the state's major business organizations have called for MIOSHA to allow for offices to reopen for in-person work.

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Surging Virus Has Michigan’s Democratic Governor at Loggerheads With Biden

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration and Michigan’s Democratic governor are locked in an increasingly tense standoff over the state’s worst-in-the-nation coronavirus outbreak, with a top federal health official on Monday urging the governor to lock down her state.

As the governor, Gretchen Whitmer, publicly called again for a surge of vaccine supply, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a White House news conference that securing extra doses was not the most immediate or practical solution to the outbreak. She said that Michigan — whose metro areas include 16 of the 17 worst outbreaks in the nation — needed to enact shutdown measures to stamp out the crush of infections.

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Posted in: Professional Practice
Gottlieb urges federal government to surge vaccines to Michigan

Washington — Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, faulted the Biden administration for declining to send more vaccine doses to Michigan as the state experiences a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, saying the federal government should adapt its current vaccination strategy to surge vaccine doses and resources to virus hot spots.

"It's a request that's been made for weeks now, and I think we should have done it weeks ago," Gottlieb said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "It's never too late to do it. And it's not just additional vaccine, but it's the resources to actually get the vaccine into arms."

In recent weeks, Michigan has become the new epicenter of the pandemic, leading the nation in new COVID-19 cases by a wide margin, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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Posted in: Professional Practice
Michigan’s Virus Cases Are Out of Control, Putting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a Bind

Outbreaks are ripping through workplaces, restaurants, churches and family weddings. Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. Officials are reporting more than 7,000 new infections each day, a sevenfold increase from late February. And Michigan is home to nine of the 10 metro areas with the country’s highest recent case rates.

During previous surges in Michigan, a resolute Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down businesses and schools as she saw fit — over the din of both praise and protests. But this time, Ms. Whitmer has stopped far short of the sweeping shutdowns that made her a lightning rod.

“Policy change alone won’t change the tide,” Ms. Whitmer said on Friday, as she asked — but did not order — that the public take a two-week break from indoor dining, in-person high school and youth sports. “We need everyone to step up and to take personal responsibility here.”

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Posted in: Professional Practice
Michigan’s Virus Cases Are Out of Control, Putting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a Bind

Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, locked down her state over the din of protests last year. Now she is trying a different approach, appealing to personal responsibility.

Nowhere in America is the coronavirus pandemic more out of control than in Michigan.

Outbreaks are ripping through workplaces, restaurants, churches and family weddings. Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. Officials are reporting more than 7,000 new infections each day, a sevenfold increase from late February. And Michigan is home to nine of the 10 metro areas with the country’s highest recent case rates.

During previous surges in Michigan, a resolute Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down businesses and schools as she saw fit — over the din of both praise and protests. But this time, Ms. Whitmer has stopped far short of the sweeping shutdowns that made her a lightning rod.

“Policy change alone won’t change the tide,” Ms. Whitmer said on Friday, as she asked — but did not order — that the public take a two-week break from indoor dining, in-person high school and youth sports. “We need everyone to step up and to take personal responsibility here.”

It is a rare moment in the pandemic: a high-profile Democratic governor bucking the pleas of doctors and epidemiologists in her state and instead asking for voluntary actions from the public to control the virus’s spread. Restaurants and bars remain open at a reduced capacity, Detroit Tigers fans are back at the stadium and most schools have welcomed students into the classroom.

Ms. Whitmer’s new position reflects the shifting politics of the pandemic, shaped more by growing public impatience with restrictions and the hope offered by vaccines than by any reassessment among public health authorities of how best to contain the virus.

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