There’s more heated debate building over deaths the state claims are connected to the COVID -19 virus outbreak.  Following what is described as extensive data validation, the state is revealing that one of every three deaths it claims are connected to the virus was a nursing home patient. Two weeks ago the state reported 1,505 deaths at nursing facilities.  But the new data, following direct phone contact with facilities, now has that count up to 1,947. Department Director Robert Gordon claims the numbers are consistent with other neighboring states.

The Whitmer administration has been targeted by Republican lawmakers for criticism over its handling of the virus outbreak. Many complaints have zeroed in on nursing and long-term care facilities and whether they should be required to accept residents who have tested positive for the virus. A new executive order from the Governor now requires nursing facilities to test all residents and staff. Then, test all returning residents and to test any resident or staff member with symptoms or suspected exposure. The state is also organizing rapid response staff support to help long term care facilities if they run into staffing shortages. The focus for that support will start in the Metro Detroit area, and here in West Michigan. The department is now coordinating with Doctors Without Borders. That group will help identify long-term care facilities that need help with infection prevention and control practices. Laura Cox is the chair of the Michigan Republican Party.  She is calling on Governor Whitmer to testify before the legislature about her decisions and Executive Orders relating to the virus outbreak. Especially those covering nursing and long-term care facilities. Quoting Cox - "Due to Governor Whitmer's failed policies regarding nursing homes, nursing home residents make up more than 34% of those who have lost their fight to the COVID-19 virus. These shocking numbers come even though nursing home residents comprise less than 1% of Michigan residents."

Enter your number to get our free mobile app