DETROIT – A Detroit Democrat is opposing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order requiring seniors who test positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) to be brought to “regional hubs.”
Seniors in nursing homes are among the highest risk for the coronavirus. Michigan has been putting long-term care patients recovering from the virus in the same facilities with patients who don’t have the virus.
It’s a policy New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo just changed in his state because of the high number of deaths.
UPDATE -- May 11, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 47,552; Death toll now at 4,584
Whitmer issued an executive order last month that requires seniors who are positive for COVID-19 to be brought to the TCF Center in Detroit or to “regional hubs,” which are nursing homes where the state says there has to be separation of the COVID-19 positive and negative patients.
Rep. Leslie Love (R-Detroit) is critical of the practice.
“To return seniors into an environment, seniors with the virus still recovering from the virus, into an environment with, well, seniors, just didn’t seem -- it’s not a good idea,” Love said.
“It’s a good move, a good step to make these regional hubs, and I think as we move forward, we have to look at making sure we’re really implementing best practices, looking to other best practices across the state,” Chief Medical Executive Joneigh S. Khaldun said.
Originally, the state wanted the patients to go to the TCF Center, but that didn’t happen, and the facility was shut down.
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Now, across the state of Michigan, 19 regional hubs are operating, including three in Oakland County and eight in Wayne County.
Last week, while trying to get answers about regional hubs, Love said she found out her 86-year-old mother, who lives in a nursing home, is COVID-19 negative.
Love is worried about the virus spreading in the nursing home.
“That would break my heart because I’ve been on the front lines of this, trying to make sure our seniors -- my mother, your mother, anybody else’s mother -- does not get sick and die from this, particularly if they’re in a nursing home,” Love said.
Michigan guidelines state the patients should be separated in other buildings or wings, and there are strict protocols in place to keep the patients safe.
Love is concerned that many nursing homes are short staffed or might not meet the state’s standards, and she wants more oversight.