The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now providing data about the confirmed cases of coronavirus in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes on its website.
During a reporting period between June 3 and June 10, 98 percent of skilled nursing facilities in Michigan gave reports on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in their facilities, according to the MDHHS website. The numbers are expected to be updated daily.
“We are continuing to improve the information we are providing as our goal is to share timely and accurate data during this pandemic,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health said in a statement announcing increased coronavirus data publishing, as well as updates to the presentation on the state’s website. “Data is now being provided in visual, easy-to-understand graphs and allow users to display data by date, for their county or by preparedness region. I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of MDHHS staff who made this possible.”
Until recently, Michigan was one of just three states not publishing data on confirmed coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities. South Dakota and Montana have yet to publish data for their facilities, according to the AARP.
Although many counties have zero cases of the coronavirus in their long-term care facilities, areas hardest-hit by the pandemic are seeing confirmed cases over 1,000.
Current policy dictates that nursing homes, if possible, have separated facilities for coronavirus-positive residents. Diagnosed patients may also be sent to regional “hubs.”
These hubs, scattered across the state, have a total of 950 confirmed cases of the coronavirus among them, at an average of roughly 53 cases per facility. Individual counties fared worse, with Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties each seeing the number of confirmed cases pass 1,000.
Oakland County currently has 1,011, confirmed cases in its long-term care facilities, with an average of 22 cases per facility. Macomb County currently has 1,164 confirmed cases in its long-term care facilities, with an average of 42 cases per facility. Wayne County currently has 2,610 confirmed cases in its long-term care facilities, with an average of 40 cases per facility.
Michigan legislators submitted legislation on Thursday voice opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies.
“Long-term care facilities were never at the top of the governor’s priority list to receive personal protective equipment and staffing levels at these facilities are insufficient,” said Ryan Berman (R-39-Commerce) in a statement. “They were never meant to serve as wards for people with a deadly virus. I am asking the governor to stop this senseless and irresponsible practice.”
The newly-published data only tracks confirmed cases, not deaths.
Find the data here.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]
Photo “Texas National Guard Cleaning Nursing Home” by The National Guard. CC BY 2.0.