Only 83 percent of long-term care facilities are reporting COVID-19 numbers in Michigan

When we spoke with Megan O'Brien about her 101-year-old mom Jene in April as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, her family was worried about her contracting coronavirus in the nursing home facility.

Sadly that's what happened with her mother later passing away. Janine Cooke's mother Maryann Catlin also died after testing positive for coronavirus in a nursing home. Their stories unfortunately are like too many in our state.

More than 3,400 long-term care facility residents have died from COVID-19 and 45 staff members. More than 15,600 residents in these facilities have contracted coronavirus and more than 11,800 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. 

In November, the state of Michigan changed long-term care facility reporting to more closely match the CDC guidelines. Instead of reporting numbers daily they now must only report stats weekly. 

An analysis by FOX 2 found dozens of facilities in metro Detroit have not reported COVID-19 stats. Across the state, 83 percent of all long-term care facilities are reporting their COVID-19 numbers.

However, over email, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says reporting has improved substantially and the biggest reason for not reporting is not being aware of the requirement.

The MDHHS said in a statement, "We continue to focus our outreach efforts on connecting with these facilities and providing technical assistance and support to those that are working to better understand the regular reporting requirements."

It is a concern for many families, like Janine's who have felt they haven't been getting the whole story surrounding their loved ones, long-term care facilities, and COVID-19.