Freep reports Michigan did not undercount nursing home COVID-19 deaths, citing CHRT study

June 3, 2021 | Detroit Free Press, In The Media

On June 3, 2021, the Detroit Free Press cited the Center for Health and Research Transformation’s (CHRT) report on nursing home policies in Michigan during COVID-19 for an article about whether or not the state undercounted nursing home COVID-19 deaths.

Written by Dave Boucher, the Freep article describes the claims that Michigan is undercounting pandemic-related nursing home deaths and that the policies of Gov. Grethen Whitmer contributed to those deaths. Boucher reports that Michigin did not undercount pandemic-related nursing home deaths, though deaths at smaller long-term care facilities may have been missed.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that she would not investigate Gov. Whitmer or her administration on the subject of nursing home policies, and cited CHRT’s report which found no evidence that Gov. Whitmer’s nursing home policies contributed to COVID-19 transmission, and concluded that the decision “was executed in a crisis situation and was an appropriate response to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Michigan.”

CHRT’s study did, however, include a number of recommendations for the state to implement to improve wellness and safety for nursing home residents during the remainder of the pandemic. A number of these have already been implemented.