Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Dec. 6

MHA Covid-19 update

MHA Covid-19 updateAs MHA CEO Brian Peters outlines in his December CEO Report, the situation confronting Michigan hospitals is dire, with hospitalizations due to COVID-19 exceeding record highs and intensive care units full of patients — most of whom are unvaccinated. The MHA joins healthcare experts around the country in urging the public to get one of the available COVID-19 vaccines.

The MHA continues to keep members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.

Legislature Considers Bills to Assist in Treating COVID-19

The Michigan House Appropriations Committee voted Dec. 8 in support of House Bill 5523, a bill that would provide critical staffing resources to hospitals and other providers. The MHA urges hospitals and others to contact their legislators, urging them to support the bill (see related article).

In addition, the Michigan Senate unanimously voted Dec. 8 in support of Senate Bill (SB) 759, a bill that would allow healthcare workers licensed by another state to continue to practice in Michigan during COVID-19 (see related article).

Court Issues Temporary Stay of Vaccine Mandate Enforcement for Federal Contractors

A federal district judge in Georgia issued an injunction Dec. 7 that is applicable to all states and temporarily pauses enforcement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors.

This is a preliminary injunction; until there is a final decision from the highest appellate court on these challenges to the CMS rule, federal contractors should be prepared to comply if the requirement is upheld. Like previous injunctions, this does not impact a contractor’s ability to implement and enforce its own organization-based vaccine policy.

The MHA will apprise members of updates on legal challenges to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates as they become available. Those with questions may contact Amy Barkholz at the MHA.

Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpageQuestions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC).