Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she’s open to changing controversial COVID-19 nursing home policy

LANSING, Mich. – At the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Metro Detroit, many COVID-19 patients were put in nursing homes to recover.

That policy still stands, despite numerous calls for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to change it.

READ: Michigan’s policy of housing COVID-19 nursing home patients with uninfected patients comes under scrutiny

The policy has been controversial, especially since other states have abandoned it. There is legislation that could force that and Whitmer has indicated she’s willing to listen.

Whitmer set up nearly two dozen regional hubs, mostly in Southeast Michigan. They are required to separate the COVID-19 positive patients from the COVID-19 negative patients -- but in the same building.

The hubs aren’t required to take patients, instead they received a $5,000 bonus per patient. The Healthcare Association of Michigan has said it was to cover the construction costs to build in that separation.

On Tuesday in Lansing the House appropriations subcommittee on Health and Human Services took on the policy.

Both the House and the Senate are considering bills that would prevent the COVID-19 positive from being admitted to a nursing home.

The Legislature expects to have bills up and running next week.

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