No evidence of transmission between COVID-19 patients in nursing homes

March 12, 2021 | In The Media, PolitiFact

Covid test strip reads positiveOn March 12, 2021, PolitiFact reported on the criticism surrounding Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home COVID-19 policies. Clara Hendrickson and Kristen Jordan Shamus reported that under Gov. Whitmer’s administration’s policies, elderly patients with COVID-19 were released back to their long-term care facilities or to nursing home hubs designated for COVID-19 patients. The Michigan Republican Party has said that this policy caused the deaths of other seniors in nursing homes. 

In the article, Hendrickson and Shamus cite a Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT) report that showed no evidence of transmission between COVID-19 patients admitted from hospitals to nursing home hubs. CHRT did, however, find that the overall COVID-19 death rate was lower (17% vs. 26%) at nursing homes that were classified as regional centers than at nursing homes that weren’t. Non-hub facilities admitted more than twice as many COVID-19 patients in recovery during the course of the study period.

CHRT’s findings do not mean that there wasn’t the transmission, emphasized Udow-Phillips. But Udow-Phillips suggested that COVID-19 may have been transmitted from staff to residents, instead of between residents. “Most of the national data has supported this observation that it’s the transmission from the community into nursing homes,” she said.