Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revises rules on nursing homes with COVID-19 patients

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revised rules related to the care of Michigan nursing home residents with the coronavirus, saying they should be sent to facilities with solid federal staffing ratings.

Currently, infected residents from homes without a dedicated COVID-19 unit go to one of 21 state-designated “hub” nursing homes when they leave the hospital or when they need a higher level of care but not hospitalization. Under an order issued late Wednesday, they instead will be transferred to “care and recovery" centers that will replace the hub network.

A hub home can be a care and recovery facility but only if it meets certain standards. The facility has to have a staffing rating of at least three out of five stars, for instance, and cannot have an abuse or neglect citation.

Whitmer did not, as Republican lawmakers have suggested, establish COVID-only facilities or buildings. She also lifted a ban on communal dining, instead requiring that dining and group activities be consistent with federal and state guidance.