A task force appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer has presented their recommendations about how to further protect nursing home residents from COVID-19.
The Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force presented their report to the governor Monday. It contains 28 recommendations cover the following four strategy areas:
- Placement of Residents
- Resource Availability
- Quality of Life
“I want to thank the members of the task force for their collaboration and support for the state’s ongoing focus on protecting Michigan’s most vulnerable populations,” said Governor Whitmer in a news release. “I will carefully review these recommendations and continue to work closely with the task force and our partners to strengthen policies to protect nursing home residents, staff, and their families.”
Their recommendations include:
- Continuing to use the regional hub program with strengthened guidance and protocols as Care and Recovery Centers.
- Identifying and coordinating with hospitals with excess surge capacity.
- Improving coordination of personal protective equipment distribution and allocation.
- Securing funding for continue testing of nursing home residents.
- Exploring options for creating dedicated facilities/alternative care settings.
- Improving support of physical and mental health for staff.
- Increasing opportunities for safe visitation.
The state says the recommendations are "reinforced" by evaluations of policy conducted by independent organizations, including the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT), and was funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
CHRT's preliminary data shows:
- No significant evidence of transmission of COVID-19 between patients admitted from hospitals to nursing home residents in hub facilities.
- Nursing home resident COVID-19 prevalence positively correlated with county COVID-19 prevalence rates for both hub and non-hub nursing homes.
- COVID-19 infection rates in nursing homes correlated with staff infection rates; this was consistent with community prevalence.
You can read the entire report below: