Michigan auditor general to review accuracy of COVID-19 nursing home deaths

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The Michigan auditor general will review the number of COVID-19 deaths that occurred across the state's long-term care facilities in response to state Rep. Steve Johnson's request, the Detroit Free Press reported July 7. 

The report is expected to be completed in September or October, according to a letter from Auditor General Doug Ringler cited by the news outlet. 

This comes after a group of state lawmakers questioned Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's policy that hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are recovering may return to their nursing home or long-term care facility to ease the burden on overwhelmed hospitals. 

Critics said this policy may have exposed other residents to the virus, though health researchers have not been able to link the policy to an increased number of transmissions. 

In June, Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state's health department testified before the state's House Oversight Committee, saying the state's nursing home deaths were not undercounted, though deaths at smaller facilities may have been missed. 


About 29 percent of Michigan's 19,775 COVID-19-related deaths are long-term care facility residents, according to state data cited by the Detroit Free Press

 

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