State Rep. John Reilly this week supported a plan to rectify the policy that likely contributed to the COVID-related deaths of at least some of the nearly 2,000 nursing home residents who have died in Michigan.
Reilly, of Oakland Township, said the mandate to put COVID-19 patients into long-term care facilities alongside uninfected residents was decided without legislative input. The mandate has not ended despite evidence that it could be putting thousands of more lives at risk.
“A recent New York Times article alluded to the fact that more than 40% of COVID-19 deaths are tied to nursing homes,” Reilly said. “We must do everything in our power to stem this tide.”
The legislative plan requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Department (DHHS), along with the state department for Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to complete an evaluation and report of the current policies regarding COVID-19 patients and nursing homes by Aug. 15.
Additionally, the legislation requires DHHS to develop and implement a new plan by Sept. 1 creating at least one dedicated regional facility within each of the state’s eight health regions for use as COVID-19 patient facilities.
Finally, Senate Bill 956, protects nursing home residents by prohibiting the placement of individuals with COVID-19 in any long-term care facility unless it has a separate dedicated building where infected patients can be properly cared for while quarantined.
“I look forward to Senate Bill 956 being signed into law,” Reilly said.
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