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Rep. Cole supports plan to end governor’s dangerous COVID-19 nursing home policy
RELEASE|July 22, 2020
Contact: Triston Cole

State Rep. Triston Cole today supported a plan to rectify the governor’s fatal error that undoubtably contributed to the COVID-related deaths of at least some of the nearly 2,000 nursing home residents who have died in Michigan.


Cole, of Mancelona, said the mandate to put COVID-19 patients into long-term care facilities alongside uninfected residents was decided by the governor alone, without any legislative input. The governor has refused to end the policy, despite evidence that it could be putting thousands of more lives at risk.


“Even after reports of elevated deaths in nursing homes started rolling in, the governor stuck with this flawed policy,” Cole said. “How many more of our loved ones have to die scared, helpless and alone in nursing homes before the governor rectifies this situation? We’re standing up for the hundreds of thousands of Michigan families who have moms, dads and grandparents in long-term care facilities and saying, ‘enough is enough.’”


The legislative plan requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Department (DHHS), along with the state department for Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to complete an evaluation and report of the current policies regarding COVID-19 patients and nursing homes by Aug. 15.


Additionally, the legislation requires DHHS to develop and implement a new plan by Sept. 1 creating at least one dedicated regional facility within each of the state’s eight health regions for use as COVID-19 patient facilities.


Finally, Senate Bill 956, unlike the governor’s plan, protects nursing home residents by prohibiting the placement of individuals with COVID-19 in any long-term care facility unless it has a separate dedicated building where infected patients can be properly cared for while quarantined.


“Our elderly and most vulnerable residents deserve better,” Cole said. “They never should have had to worry about contagious COVID-19 patients being brought into the facilities they call home.”

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