LANSING, Mich. – Michigan lawmakers continue to line up against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policy, which commingles patients who test positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) with healthy residents.
On Thursday, members of the Michigan House and Senate passed resolutions calling on Whitmer to end her policy.
Republican Sen. Pete Lucido is looking to end the practice with a bill.
During Thursday’s hearing, Dr. Rebecca Cope spoke with the Senate Health Policy Committee about this topic.
“Cross-contamination between patients and health care providers is a significant risk,” Cope said.
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Cope asked to speak with the committee because her mother is in a nursing home. She said very few facilities are capable of dealing with this kind of virus.
“Currently, daily care for these residents is not by nurses, but personal care workers who are not sufficiently trained to provide care for highly contagious COVID-19 positive patients,” Cope said.
Officials with the Michigan Health Department said more than one-third of the state’s nearly 6,000 coronavirus deaths came from nursing homes.
Whitmer has admitted in the past that if she had a time machine, there are ways she would handle the situation differently.
Lucido’s bill looks to end regional hubs and prevent COVID-19 patients from entering nursing homes.
Democratic Sen. Curtis Hertel wanted to make it clear the governor’s policy doesn’t mandate taking these patients.
The state did pay $5,000 per patient, though.
Republican Sen. Ruth Johnson decried what she says is the nation’s highest death rate in Livonia because homes there took in patients.
“I think any society can truly be judged on how they treat their most vulnerable, and the statistics in Southeast Michigan, I think, only emphasize the need for this bill,” Johnson said.
A woman called into the hearing and said her COVID-19 negative mother was in a home when it took in positive patients. She said her mother got infected and died.