Michigan requires testing, finds nearly 2K nursing home deaths

LANSING — Michigan’s health department on Monday mandated coronavirus testing of all nursing home residents and staff after reporting the deaths of nearly 2,000 residents — about one-third of all COVID-19 deaths across the state.

Director Robert Gordon’s order requires initial baseline testing. Also, all new or returning residents must be tested, and there must be weekly testing of all residents and staff in a home with any cases until 14 days after the last positive result.

The state for the first time released a firm overall death count for nursing home residents — 1,947, which is more than 400 more than previously estimated — and listed them by facility. Places with the deadliest outbreaks are largely located in the Detroit area, Michigan’s epicenter of the virus.

“We are not in a position to vouch for data from other states, but such a figure is generally consistent with the figures we have seen elsewhere,” said Gordon, who announced penalties for nursing homes that do not comply with reporting requirements.

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