Lawmakers question why some nursing homes were made COVID-19 hubs

Nursing homes and long term care facilities take care of some of our most vulnerable people. 
All of which is why one lawmaker is questioning why some facilities like one in Southfield are also being designated as a hub to treat COVID-19 patients. 

"From the beginning, what were we thinking about handling the senior population," said Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit).

Love gives a lot of consideration to those trying to survive this pandemic in a long term care facility. 
Her 83-year-old mother is living in one of the 19 hubs across the state designated as being equipped and able to treat COVID-19 patients in the same facility as healthy residents. 

"It's not a good idea, not the best scenario for the seniors," she said.

Love says at the very least there should be strict checks and balances. 

"I have reports that there are facilities that use a plastic cover at the entry to separate the well from the unwell," she said. "That's not a separate environment that is healthy."

But Michigan's Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldoun says these 19 hubs were chosen because they are equipped to handle this.  And the state plans to keep a constant and close eye on what happens there. 

"Making sure the nursing facilities and these regional hubs have enough PPE and that they are really implementing the right protocols to keep nursing residents safe."

Representative Love along with seven other lawmakers with regional hubs in their district, are banning together to find alternative solutions. 

"We have a list of questions and recommendations and we hope to talk to the administration about that," she said.

Love points to the now closed TCF Center and Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi as more acceptable places to treat nursing home residents who are COVID-19 positive. 

"Why do we invest millions in these field hospitals when they can't take the senior population," she said.

Above all, she wants to make sure those living in long term care facilities are not further isolated. 

In Lansing Wednesday an oversight committee is scheduled to meet where these regional hubs and their effectiveness will be discussed.