senate Resolution No.125

Senators Runestad, Lucido, Theis, Nesbitt, Bizon and VanderWall offered the following resolution:

A resolution to denounce the Governorís policy placing COVID-19 positive residents with uninfected residents in nursing homes.

Whereas, Older adults are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and its most serious complications, including death. More than 87 percent of Michigan deaths from the disease have occurred among Michiganders who were 60 years of age or older; and

Whereas, Nursing homes are high-risk environments for disease transmission because residents live in close proximity to one another, have underlying medical conditions, and are cared for by staff who care for many other residents; and

Whereas, On April 15, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-50, requiring nursing homes with a census below 80 percent to create a dedicated unit for the care of COVID-19-affected residents. This led to COVID-19-affected residents being placed in the same facilities as residents without the disease, increasing the risk of disease spread in an already vulnerable population. The order also required facilities without dedicated units to transfer COVID-19-affected residents to regional hubs, which are dedicated exclusively to the care of COVID-19-affected residents; and

Whereas, Particularly in the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Governorís policies placed COVID-19-affected residents in nursing homes that were ill-prepared to both care for them and prevent the spread of the disease to other residents. Understaffing and a lack of testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) compounded the enormous challenges facilities already faced; and

Whereas, COVID-19 has ravaged Michigan nursing homes with more than 1,200 deaths occurring in these settings, which makes up about 23 percent of all Michigan deaths from COVID-19. The Whitmer administration has been slow to release nursing home data, and the available data continues to be woefully inadequate, making it difficult to see the full impact of these detrimental policies; and

Whereas, Despite evidence of the significant flaws in the initial nursing home policies, Executive Order 2020-95, issued May 20, 2020, continues to put nursing home residents in harmís way by placing COVID-19-affected residents in the same facilities as other residents; and

Whereas, Ensuring the health and well-being of the stateís most vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 Pandemic is of the upmost importance. The Whitmer administration must be held accountable for these decisions. It is imperative that Michiganís flawed nursing home policies are replaced by policies that will protect nursing home residents today and in the future; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That we denounce the Governorís policy placing COVID-19 positive residents with uninfected residents in nursing homes; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Governor.