Whitmer gives flexibility to nursing homes on virus patients

Michigan News

In this Thursday, May 21, 2020 photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speeks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer is relaxing coronavirus restrictions to lift a ban on nonessential medical and dental procedures, reopen retail shops and let residents gather in groups of 10 or less. The small social gatherings can start immediately. Retails stores and auto dealerships can reopen by appointment only starting Tuesday. Medical, dental and veterinary offices can resume nonessential procedures beginning May 29. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, Pool)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has lifted requirements that nursing homes establish special coronavirus units and admit from the hospital patients recovering from COVID-19.

The move gives the facilities more flexibility to decide if they can safely isolate people.

The new order, issued late Wednesday, comes after the governor had faced questions from lawmakers in both parties who expressed concerns that non-infected residents were being put at risk.

At least 784 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 complications — 15% of total deaths — though state health officials say the number is likely higher.

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