State Rep. Daire Rendon, of Lake City, today supported a plan to rectify the governor’s careless nursing home policy that undoubtably cost the lives of more than 1,947 of some of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.
The mandate to place COVID-19 patients into long-term care facilities alongside uninfected residents was decided by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer alone, without any input from the Legislature.
“Our loved ones who reside in long-term care facilities deserve much better than being forced to be placed alongside coronavirus patients due to the governor’s reckless orders,” Rendon said. “That’s why I am standing firm with my colleagues in supporting this plan to rectify the governor Whitmer’s careless actions.”
The legislative plan requires the state’s Health and Human Services Department (DHHS), along with the state department for Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to complete an evaluation and report of the current policies regarding COVID-19 patients and nursing homes by Aug. 15.
Additionally, the legislation requires DHHS to develop and implement a new plan by September 1 creating at least one dedicated regional facility within each of the state’s eight health regions for use as COVID-19 patient facilities.
Finally, Senate Bill 956, unlike the governor’s plan, protects nursing home residents by prohibiting the placement of individuals with COVID-19 in any long-term care facility unless it has a separate dedicated building where affected patients can be properly quarantined and cared for.
“Northern Michigan nursing home residents deserve to have their voices heard, and we must advocate on their behalf,” Rendon said. “This virus has significantly devastated our elderly population, especially those living in nursing homes, and we must ensure this comes to a stop.”
The legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
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“The Legislature and governor must work together for the people of Michigan as we continue to fight through this pandemic,” Rendon said. “Our families deserve much better results than they’ve received and full transparency. The measures approved by the House are a strong step toward the continued safe, practical reopening of Northern Michigan and the entire state.”