New answers to which nursing homes were most affected by COVID-19 came on Friday as Michigan officials released cumulative case data on facilities that house the most vulnerable population in the state.

However, earlier reports in the Free Press have questioned the accuracy of some figures. After the state was released, some said they did not trust the counts.

Data released on Friday shows that about 5,000 coronavirus cases have occurred in residents in nursing homes across the state, of which approximately 90% have been reported. Three Detroit Metro houses had more than 100 cases and another five reported more than 80 cases, according to the state.

Friday was the first time since the pandemic started that the state provided cumulative coronavirus cases broken down by nursing homes. No death dates were released online on Friday, but officials previously said more than 1,200 nursing home residents have died.

According to the state, nursing homes with the highest total number of cases among residents include:

  • Westland Convalescent & Rehab Center (Westland, a villa center) in Westland with 127 cases.
  • Autumn Woods Residential Health in Warren with 111 cases.
  • Fairlane Senior Care and Rehabilitation Center in Detroit with 101 cases.

The Free Press left messages on Friday with the institutions that had the most cumulative cases and had no response from two of them.

According to a statement from Villa Healthcare, Westland, a villa center, had no COVID-positive residents in the house on Friday. 66 residents are said to have recovered from COVID-19 and six residents have died.

Ambassador, a Detroit villa center, had no data on the state’s website, indicating that it was not reported. However, the Detroit website shows the facility with 107 cases. Nursing home officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

The accuracy of some of the figures published on the state’s website was questioned on Friday evening. The Free Press quickly uncovered discrepancies in some of the published and previously reported figures.

For example, on April 9, the Free Press reported that 21 residents of Rivergate Terrace had tested positive for COVID-19, citing information provided by the Riverview facility. About two weeks ago, the Freie Presse reported that 93 residents had tested positive at this facility.

However, the state’s website showed that only 18 residents of Rivergate Terrace have tested positive on Friday since the outbreak began.

“We will contact the facility to determine the accuracy of the data,” Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the health ministry, said in an email when asked for the number.

The number of active cases at Rivergate Terrace, a Life Care Center of America facility, has decreased in the past few weeks and there are now six positive cases, said Timothy Killian, a public information liaison officer.

Heidi Sisler, 55, of Southgate, said she didn’t think the state had released accurate numbers given what she’d heard before. Her mother-in-law Lucille Kania, 88, lives in Rivergate Terrace and was diagnosed with the virus earlier this year, she said.

“I have no confidence in the Michigan government regarding this COVID-19,” said Sisler.

The latest data provided by the state did not include the number of nursing home workers infected with the virus or the number of residents in each home.

According to preliminary data released by the state earlier this week, there have been at least 1,216 coronavirus-related deaths in nursing home residents in Michigan – about 23% of all deaths in the state. No information has been provided about the location of these deaths, and the number is expected to increase as more facilities report to the state.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical officer, said the state’s public health reporting systems have not kept pace with the requirements to fight the pandemic and inform people as quickly as officials should.

Officials still have to work on nursing home death information before it is released, Khaldun said during a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“I don’t want to provide data that is incorrect,” said Khaldun, adding that there is some conflicting information that needs to be sorted.

People, including those with relatives in nursing homes, have been searching the facility for extensive nationwide information about COVID-19 for months. Michigan confirmed its first coronavirus case on March 10 – more than 11 weeks ago.

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More: State data tell only part of the story when it comes to deaths in nursing homes

Earlier this week, during a hearing by the Senate Supervisory Board, lawmakers asked why other states were able to release detailed Michigan nursing home data.

Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health, said the staff is thin and the state has an outdated data reporting system, which is contributing to the slow response of the state in providing the information.

“My suspicion is that there are states that have been able to automate the reporting of their own disease monitoring systems,” Gordon said during the hearing. “It’s just not something we were able to do.”

What we knew

Earlier data released by the state gave one-day snapshots in nursing homes. The current number of coronavirus cases in nursing home residents was reported, but the cumulative number of residents in each facility infected with the virus, the number of rescued residents and the number of deaths were missing.

Due to the lack of nationwide data, including deaths, the actual number of viruses is still unknown among nursing home residents.

Some local health departments have given more specific numbers. Detroit began publishing detailed data on the city’s 26 nursing homes more than a month ago after extensive testing was carried out across all facilities.

Many other states have provided cumulative case and death data related to nursing homes.

“We welcome the governor’s decision to release cumulative data on COVID cases in nursing homes,” said Andrea Acevedo, president of SEIU Healthcare Michigan. “Up to this point, it has been difficult to draw conclusions based on publicly available information. Comparing the number of cases with what our employees say in private households helps us make decisions and employers on issues such as available (personal protective equipment) and hazard payments Accountable and infection control in nursing homes. “


Some Michigan Republican and Democratic lawmakers have criticized the decision to place COVID-19 positive residents in the same nursing homes as non-infected people, even if they are separated. The move creates an unsafe situation for seniors, they argued.

Some of the concerns raised concern limited nursing home staff, which can result in employees working with infected and uninfected residents, poor infection control history in some facilities, and limited personal protective equipment.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was asked why there was no ban on COVID-19 patients in nursing homes on Thursday, and officials wanted to make sure that patients who were discharged from hospitals had a place to go.

“We had to find a balance here,” said Whitmer, adding, “as we keep learning, we keep improving.”

Their latest regulation on long-term care facilities provides that nursing homes make every reasonable effort to create units that are dedicated to the residents of the coronavirus and to provide appropriate personal protective equipment to those working in the units.

Khaldun said Thursday that steps have been taken to protect residents and others will follow.

“We need to do more to get this right and to ensure that our nursing home residents have a safe place,” she said. “And we continue to work on it.”

Do you work in a nursing home or senior center affected by the coronavirus? Have you or your family been personally affected? We would like to speak to you. Please contact Chris Hall at [email protected] or send an encrypted email to [email protected]

Contact Elisha Anderson: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @elishaanderson

Contact Kristi Tanner: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @MIdatalove

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