Here’s what Michigan nursing homes that escaped coronavirus did right

By Patricia Anstett: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- You see, those thousands of deaths didn’t have to happen…

The leadership team at Rest Haven, a large senior living community in Holland with nearly 350 residents, reacted forcefully and quickly when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on March 13 ordered nursing homes to lock down against the new coronavirus.

In a unified, daily drumbeat, facilities emailed staffers and held daily leadership calls. They rigorously disinfected buildings and put up strict limits on what was brought inside and who could enter. They scoured for supplies and sewed — even steam-cleaned — their own masks.

Measures like those have kept Rest Haven among the roughly 200 Michigan nursing homes that have not reported a single case of COVID among residents since the beginning of the pandemic, as of July 16, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In fact, 20 of Michigan’s 83 counties have nursing homes that have not reported a single case of COVID-19 among residents since the start of the pandemic. Dozens of other Michigan nursing homes have as few as one or two cases among residents since the outbreak began. And 58 counties have had four or fewer deaths among their nursing home residents, according to the state. 

The state’s data is updated daily and is 99 percent complete, according to the MDHHS. The state said it includes all cases and deaths among nursing homes staff and residents from COVID-19 since January 1. The list does not include data from facilities awaiting additional verification. 

With 2,033 deaths among staff and residents in Michigan nursing homes — roughly 27 percent of Michigan’s overall COVID-19 deaths — it’s clear many changes will need to be made to protect seniors and staff in the future. But if there’s good news and hope, it begins with facilities that experienced no COVID-19 cases as public health experts search for lessons that may be translatable to other homes.

Equally important strategies have produced dramatic improvements in Detroit nursing homes

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