LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan nursing homes have been hard hit by COVID-19. The state is now releasing numbers. It says as of yesterday there were 2,637 residents of long term care facilities currently fighting the virus. That does not include patents who have already lost their lives or recovered.
“Now I sit at home and I worry,” said Marie Channer.
Channer says her mom lives at Lakepointe Senior Care in Clinton Township. According to the state it has eight COVID-19 positive patients. One of them is her mom. She says she personally was unaware COVID-19 had infected anyone at the facility, until her mom became ill. She appreciates the state raising awareness by sharing data.
She struggles to keep in touch with her mom as much as she would like right now. Her mom has dementia an sometimes doesn’t answer the phone. She has to wait until a staff member is available.
“I feel so helpless right now because there is literally nothing I can do,” she said.
If you take a look at state data you will see that across Michigan there are nursing homes reporting cases of COVID-19, but most cases are in the communities hardest hit in Metro-Detroit. Taking a look at the three facilities with the most in the state they are Imperial Healthcare Centre in Dearborn Heights with 76 cases, Ambassador Nursing and Rehab Center in Detroit with 70, and Regency A Villa Center in Taylor with 65.
Over the weekend, nurses from the Wayne County’s Public Health Division began compliance monitoring of area nursing homes following an alarming spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths at local long-term care facilities. Wayne County Health Officer Carol Austerberry tells 7 Action News the goal is to connect facilities with help getting PPE and to educate on best practices, not punish.
They however also are looking to find out if there is any actionable reason that some facilities are hardest hit.
“I wouldn’t call it bad luck. A challenge we did identify, we did a few inspections over the weekend, is staffing,” said Carol Austerberry.
The Health Care Association of Michigan, which represents nursing homes, says the virus has lead to staffing issues as workers have had to be quarantined. It says the fact that some carriers of the virus are asymptomatic creates challenges, but that workers do their jobs out of love for their patients.
At the West Bloomfield Health and Rehabilitation center, management say the numbers don’t tell the entire story. It is possible in some cases numbers will be higher due to a facility being proactive.
"While our overall total number, as reported, may appear higher than other Skilled Nursing Facilities, the majority of our residents who tested positive exhibited mild symptoms and are being treated in-house. However, we have not gone unscathed through this global pandemic. Tragically, we’ve lost some beloved residents to this deadly virus and some of ours staff members have lost their own parents as well,” said a statement from West Bloomfield Health & Rehabilitation.
You can take a look at the data from the state at https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98163_98173-526911--,00.html.
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