Executive Director of Michigan Rising Action Tori Sachs criticized the timeline of the state’s coronavirus task force on Wednesday.
The Michigan Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force — which includes 13 members, several leaders from state health and regulatory departments, and state legislators — has until August 31 to present a plan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for “any future wave of COVID-19 cases by developing an action plan based on timely and high-quality data,” according to the executive order that created the task force in June.
Whitmer announced her assignments to the task force on Tuesday.
Sachs said that Michigan residents deserve answers about how the state plans to handle coronavirus in nursing homes now.
“Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been ground zero for deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 since the virus first appeared in Washington State months ago,” Sachs said in an emailed statement to The Michigan Star. “Michiganders deserve a plan to keep our seniors safe from deadly COVID-19 outbreaks today, not two months from now.”
Sachs has been one of many pushing back on the state’s policies concerning coronavirus and long-term care facilities in Michigan. In June, she accused Whitmer of using the pandemic to “elevate her national profile.”
“We’ve known from the beginning that elderly were the most susceptible,” Sachs said at the time.
The state began publishing data on coronavirus cases in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes in mid-June, shortly before the Michigan House of Representatives passed a resolution criticizing policies that kept people who had confirmed cases of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities.
As of Wednesday, there are more than 7,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus among residents of long-term care facilities, resulting in 1,977 deaths, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. More than 5,600 of those cases have recovered or are currently recovering.
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