State health director stands by nursing home COVID data, but other numbers 'could be low' | Michigan Radio
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State health director stands by nursing home COVID data, but other numbers 'could be low'

Jun 3, 2021

Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Credit MDHHS

The state’s top health official says she stands by Michigan’s COVID-19 fatality numbers for the state’s nursing homes. But she concedes other numbers for long-term care facilities “could be low.”

About 30% of all COVID deaths in Michigan during the pandemic are connected to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

State Health and Human Services department director Elizabeth Hertel appeared before a legislative committee Thursday. She said COVID-19 numbers tied to nursing homes are accurate. But the data do not include many small adult-foster care facilities. Hertel said her agency needs more data from those facilities.

“I need additional personal identifying information,” Hertel told the committee, “So I can run a match that validates that information.”

Michigan lawmakers say they want more information about COVID-19 related deaths tied to the state’s long-term care facilities.

House Oversight Committee chairman Steve Johnson wants the state auditor's office to examine the data.  

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