State Rep. Kathy Crawford, of Novi, today said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should not extend one of her directives that has forced nursing homes below 80-percent capacity to admit patients infected with COVID-19, jeopardizing the health of residents and caregivers at these facilities.
Concerns over the governor’s COVID-19 protocols for Michigan’s nursing homes have grown in recent weeks, and recent data validates those concerns. According to a recent investigation by WDIV Channel 4, nursing home deaths related to COVID-19 account for roughly 29% of all deaths in the state.
Crawford, who chairs the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee, said given the vulnerability status of residents, long-term care facilities are among the highest risk for coronavirus.
“It makes absolutely no sense to put symptomatic long-term care residents recovering from COVID-19 in the same facilities as non-infected seniors,” said Crawford, of Novi. “We all knew well before coronavirus made its way into Michigan that seniors and those with underlying health conditions are at a significantly higher risk of severe symptoms if they contract the disease. This executive order is illogical and reckless in nature, and the governor should not extend it.”
Despite written opposition of the Health Care Association of Michigan, Gov. Whitmer authorized Executive Order 2020-84, which closely mirrors a similar directive in New York that was recently revised due to a higher number of deaths in long-term care facilities. The order is set to expire by Thursday morning.
“There’s a reason why we have hospitals in addition to nursing homes,” Crawford said. “Nursing homes are not designed or equipped to provide the services administered by hospitals. Even in a perfect scenario where a nursing home happens to have all the necessary equipment, medication and personnel to do the work of a hospital, there’s no justification for placing COVID-19-infected patients and non-infected patients under the same roof. There are plenty of beds available at hospitals across the state going unused, yet the governor has chosen to further threaten the health of residents and caregivers of Michigan’s long-term care facilities.”