Gov. Whitmer signs order making it easier to access prescriptions

The Michigan governor is making it easier to obtain prescriptions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order on Wednesday that would allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to 60 days worth of supply to patients.

The order takes effect immediately and will end on April 22, however it could be renewed if needed.

“No Michigander should be worried about running out of critical medications during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why I signed this Executive Order authorizing pharmacists to refill up to 60 days of medication for their patients and easing restrictions on pharmacists so they can continue to help their patients during this crisis,” said Governor Whitmer.

The order only applies to non-controlled substances and pharmacists will be allowed to use their discretion to prescribe other forms of therapy equivalent to the medications if there are shortages.

RELATED: Details of Whitmer's bar, restaurant closure order released: gyms, theaters, other gathering places included

Whitmer has signed an array of executive orders the last few weeks aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus. She's expanded unemployment benefits to workers who may be experiencing unanticipated responsibilities due to coronavirus. She's outlawed price gouging on goods, materials, emergency supplies and consumer food items linked to the COVID-19 state of emergency. She suspended all evictions of tenants unable to pay their rent.

She also waived weight restrictions on vehicles supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

Since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Michigan on March 10, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools, prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people, restricted visits to hospitals and other facilities, closed public spaces such as theaters, bars, gyms and casinos, and limited restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.  

Most recently, she's also issued a stay-home order. You can get details on what that means here

That was all in efforts to social distance and slow the spread of the virus. You can learn more about social distancing and flattening the curve in the video player above. 

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. 

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

Are you showing symptoms? Try Beaumont's virtual screening tool

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.


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