Theis: Stop putting COVID-19 patients in nursing homes

LANSING, Mich. — Recovering COVID-19 patients should stop being relocated from hospitals to area nursing homes, said Sen. Lana Theis.

Theis made the request Tuesday in a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and the Livingston County Health Department after learning about such incidences taking place in Livingston County.

“Given that 64% of deceased COVID-19 patients in Michigan are over the age of 70, it simply does not make sense to unnecessarily increase the risk of infection and death of existing nursing home residents by moving in people who have already been infected by the new coronavirus,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “I respectfully suggest that this practice be immediately discontinued and that such persons be relocated to alternative sites, perhaps including existing field hospitals that have been constructed for the express purpose of treating COVID-19.”

An area resident tipped Theis to the practice and recently a WHMI report chronicled the story of a Howell woman who had contracted COVID-19 after being relocated to another residence at a local nursing home to make room for an incoming person who was said to be recovering from COVID-19.

According to Executive Order 2020-37, which was issued by the governor on April 5th, an order of temporary restrictions was extended to include entry into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities and juvenile justice facilities.

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Click here to view the letter Sen. Theis sent to Gov. Whitmer.