MICHIGAN, USA — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Tuesday that expands hospital and healthcare facility capacity in Michigan to ensure that enough healthcare providers are available to treat patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The order will temporarily lift regulatory requirements on hospitals and care facilities. It will be in effect beginning Tuesday, March 17 and continues through Wednesday, April 15 at 11:59 p.m. 

Whitmer said this order will help expand healthcare capacity so more people can access the care they need while working to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. 

The order gives The Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs the authority to waive certain requirements to expedite the process of bringing additional care facilities online during the COVID-19 emergency.

“This is a crisis unlike any we’ve seen before, and we must do everything we can to ensure care for the most people,” Whitmer said. 

The governor said she will continue to work with hospitals and care facilities to protect Michigan families. This order is the 14th action Whitmer has taken to address and combat the spread of the new virus in the state. 

RELATED: Life with coronavirus in Michigan: Here's all the actions taken by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

As of March 17, there are 65 cases in Michigan. There have been no reported deaths. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Whitmer has been "working around the clock" to ensure healthcare access to Michiganders. 

He said the executive order will help the health department meet its goals and help more people have access to the care they need. 

"It’s a critical step at a time when we need all hands on deck to address this crisis," Khaldun said. 

Related Video: 

More stories on 13 ON YOUR SIDE: 

►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.   

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.