DETROIT – Nursing homes remain a top priority in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), especially in the city of Detroit.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan touted the success of the city’s testing inside nursing homes to help get cases under control. The Local 4 Defenders took a look at where coronavirus cases are popping up in nursing homes around Metro Detroit.
Duggan said all seniors in Detroit nursing homes will be tested for COVID-19 by the end of Thursday. Measures are in place to separate positive patients as they’re treated to spot the spread, Duggan said.
Outside a nursing home on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit, members of the Detroit Health Department, Henry Ford clinicians and Wayne State medical students suited up in protective gear to go inside.
The team tested seniors and staff members.
“We now have tested three-quarters of the residents in our nursing homes,” Duggan said. “They are coming back 25% positive.”
The city is running tests in 21 of its 26 nursing homes, with 357 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 129 deaths.
“We will be through every nursing home resident by the end of the day tomorrow with our 15 tests,” Duggan said. “We are seeing the nursing homes do what we had hoped: setting up separate COVID-19 areas, isolating patients the way they should.”
“Testing is vital, along with staffing,” said Melissa Samuel, executive director of the Health Care Association of Michigan.
Local 4 has learned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already doing nursing home visits and checking out testing in Detroit.
“We are going to go in order where the science tells us to go, so the places in which the spread is occurring greatest,” Duggan said. “We’re going to go in that order, with the CDC here, whether it’s a skilled nursing center, whether it’s a mental health residential facility, whether it’s a rehab center, whether it’s a senior center.”
Oakland County has just over 200 nursing home and rehab facilities. So far, 127 have had positive cases -- 1,038 people, including staff and residents, testing positive for COVID-19. There have been 146 coronavirus-related deaths.
Macomb County has 77 long-term care facilities, and 46 of them have had COVID-19 cases. There have been 332 positive cases and 128 deaths.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home that has COVID-19 patients, officials at the nursing home should notify you.
“Facilities should absolutely be doing that,” Samuel said. “If there’s a (positive case) in a building, they should immediately notify staff and families.”
Wayne County has ben unable to provide Local 4 with its nursing home numbers. The Defenders will continue to try to get answers.