Detroit Regional Chamber > Gov. Whitmer Signs New COVID-19 Bills on Testing, Nursing Homes

Gov. Whitmer Signs New COVID-19 Bills on Testing, Nursing Homes

November 5, 2020
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Thursday signed the following bills into law that are among the Legislature’s new coronavirus legislation.

“Right now, Michigan is seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and these bills will help us protect each other as we continue to fight this virus,” said Gov. Whitmer. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families, frontline workers, and small businesses, and I will continue to do everything in my power to save lives and will work with anyone who shares those goals.”

House Bill 6137 requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to publish publicly on the DHHS website certain data regarding COVID-19 and nursing homes. The bill requires updates from DHHS on its website weekly regarding certain COVID-19 metrics and visitation policies. It also requires the publishing of historic nursing home COVID-19 data. The historic data must be published by Nov. 15, 2020, and future data will be updated weekly beginning Nov. 15, 2020. The bill is tied barred with Senate Bill 1094 which was recently signed by the governor. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Leslie Love, D-Detroit.

House Bill 6293 codifies in law certain expanded COVID-19 testing services that Governor Whitmer provided for through executive orders. This bill allows certain volunteers and workers to help with the COVID-19 testing process under the proper supervision of qualified licensees or local health departments until June 30, 2021. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Graham Filler, R-DeWitt.

House Bills 6294 and 6297 together allow certain documents to be signed, witnessed, and notarized electronically until Dec. 31, 2020. The bills amend the Estates and Protected Individuals Code, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, and the Michigan Law on Notarial Acts, respectively. The bills have a largely retroactive effect from April 30, 2020, and encourage the use of electronic signatures, witnesses, and records where available. The bills were sponsored by Rep. Sarah Lightner, R-Springport.