Nursing home patients in Michigan who’ve been infected with COVID19 have been dropping like flies. As of today, there are currently 2,328 patients in nursing homes have tested positive for COVID-19. The current reported number does not include staff or patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 or have died as a result of the virus.
Deadline Detroit – The state of Michigan does not know how many elderly people in its nursing homes have died from Covid-19.
More shocking, bureaucrats have no idea how many elderly people have died whose care has been entrusted to the state.
Watch this video showing Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stunning negligence and how she’s putting nursing home patients in grave danger. Democrat State Rep. Lisa Love is frustrated by this horrible policy to put nursing home patients lives at risk:
On April 9, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended her executive order forcing Michigan citizens to stay inside their homes unless they were going outside for exercise or to purchase items that she deemed necessary. The Democrat governor’s order was extended through April 30 and included a travel ban for anyone traveling between their primary residence and a vacation home.
Whitmer explained her decision to ban Michiganders from traveling to their vacation homes, many of which are located in northern Michigan, saying: “I’ve talked to rural hospital CEOs who are very concerned about people traveling to a second home,” Whitmer said during a press conference Thursday. “They are not equipped to deal with a COVID-19 spread in large magnitude by people that are coming into the community, so they’re asking people to stay home.”
So, in other words, healthy Michiganders who owned second homes in northern Michigan were prohibited from traveling to their private residences over fears of spreading COVID-19, while at the same time, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office was intentionally shipping COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes in northern Michigan. Nothing to see here…
On April 15, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-50. The order requires nursing homes to care for any current residents who test positive for COVID-19 but aren’t sick enough to require hospitalization, in a dedicated area of the facility.
According to Record-Eagle– MediLodge GTC, a nursing home in Traverse City, MI, agreed to act as a regional hub for the transfer of as many as 26 patients recovering from COVID-19.
Administrators at Medilodge, which operates two facilities, were contacted by local health officials to inquire whether the facility was accepting COVID-19 positive patient transfers from Detroit.
“We as a health department have serious concerns about the fact that people from outside the area could be brought in and would take some of the resources here,” Health Officer Wendy Hirschenberger said in a phone interview Friday. “Specifically, PPE.”
Hirschenberger said northern Michigan has not reached the peak of the disease and personal protection equipment at local healthcare facilities is already at a premium. State and national supplies of PPE have gone to other, more densely populated areas, she said.
How many patients may be transferred, their health conditions, and specifics on how and when they contracted the disease were not provided to the health department, Hirschenberger said.
Medilodge spokesperson Bill Gray issued the following statement:
“As a licensed long-term care provider in Michigan, we received a request from the Office of the Governor to provide a list of facilities that could provide care for recovering COVID-19 residents that are stable and now ready to be discharged from local area hospitals, to include any current long term care resident, and to provide that information to Health Care Association of Michigan.”
Elizabeth Thomas, spokesperson for HCAM, said it was the organization’s understanding that patients had been moved in Michigan but not long distances.
When asked to define “local” Gray referred a Record-Eagle reporter to his statement. No date was given when transfers might begin, but the company’s staff was, “preparing as necessary,” he said.
Munson Healthcare Public Information OfficerDianne Michalek confirmed the hospital had been made aware of the situation by the Grand Traverse County Health Department.
“In terms of care, we will care for all patients who present to us regardless of their COVID-19 status or area of residence,” Michalek said in an emailed statement. “We also continue to stress the importance of Gov. Whitmer’s extended stay-at-home order and hope that individuals and businesses will comply.”
There is no government oversight of such transfers should they indeed be planned, even during a pandemic, officials said.
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is responsible for inspecting and licensing Michigan nursing homes, but does not have oversight of COVID-positive patient transfers, a spokesperson confirmed in an email to the Record-Eagle.
Whether a non-hospital facility has the capability to care for COVID-19 positive patients transferred from other facilities is a concern of Hirschenberger’s.
“If a facility were to end up getting lots of staff sick, as has happened in other areas of the country, how would they maintain the staffing that is necessary to care for their patients?” Hirschenberger said. “Do they know how to properly don and doff PPE?”
There are specific protocols for putting personal protection equipment on at the beginning of a shift, or before caring for a patient, and for taking it off and sanitizing or disposing it at the end of a shift, or after caring for a patient, Hirschenberger said.
Errors could transmit the virus, especially in nursing homes, medical experts said.
Nursing homes are being paid well to accept COVID-19 positive patients:
Two additional downstate Medilodge facilities, The Lodge at Taylor on Northline Road and MediLodge of Frankenmuth on West Genesee Street, also agreed to act as regional hubs, the Record-Eagle has learned.
The three facilities combined made up to 93 beds available for the transfer of COVID-19 positive patients and will receive an incentive payment of about $5,000 per bed, Sutfin said.
Should the company receive the full one-time incentive payment for all 93 available beds, the total would be $465,000, MDHHS figures show.
A March 24 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association lists nursing homes as “Ground Zero” for the pandemic following the unprecedented spread of the disease in Washington, Maryland, Illinois, Oregon, Louisiana, Colorado, New York, Connecticut, and Kansas.
“It is likely that other nursing homes around the country will also become hubs in their communities for the worst clinical manifestations of COVID-19,” the article stated.
A nursing home receiving transferred patients with COVID-19 is not required to notify existing residents, State Long Term Care Ombudsman Salli Pung confirmed in an email.
“Nursing homes would not be able to release specific medical information about another resident due to HIPAA requirements,” Pung said. “When a resident is in isolation, there is sometimes a notification posted on the door to the resident’s room.”
Medilodge GTC has an overall below-average health inspection rating with Nursing Home Compare.
In neighboring Otsego County, another popular vacation destination, Petoskey News reports that the health department has identified the Medilodge of Gaylord, a long term care facility, as the reason for a spike in COVID-19 cases in Otsego County.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan says Medilodge of Gaylord says both residents and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
The health department couldn’t give the specific number of cases but said the majority of the recent spike in cases is related to the facility.
They say Medilodge has a separate area to care for the COVID-19 positive residents.