Marianne Udow-Phillips in Bridge Magazine on ways to battle COVID-19 in our state’s vulnerable nursing homes
In “Michigan nursing homes linked to 1 in 4 coronavirus deaths. Tally will grow,” a Bridge Magazine story, Marianne Udow-Phillips describes one practice that Michigan could employ to battle COVID-19 in our state’s highly vulnerable nursing homes.
State Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, in Michigan, has argued the state can’t protect nursing home residents with limited information. He has asked both state Attorney General Dana Nessel and federal prosecutors to investigate the state’s nursing home policies.
The disclosure of death counts by nursing homes should be a trigger for further action, Udow-Phillips told Bridge reporters.
She went on to describe nursing home “strike teams” other states have been using since early April. Maryland, for example, has sent teams composed of hospital healthcare workers, National Guard members, and state and local healthcare workers to nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks. The teams assist with testing and provide on-site medical support.
“The state could be deploying these teams to battle with infection control. It’s something the state could be working with the nursing home, to have these traveling teams be available,” she said.
People worry that their loved ones might contract the virus but are unaware of what is happening inside because they are not permitted to visit, said Alison Hirschel, managing attorney, of The Michigan Elder Justice Initiative.
COVID-19 rapid response brief: Best practices for protecting populations in nursing homes, long-term care settings