Lucido bill protecting nursing home residents from COVID-19 sent to governor

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday approved Sen. Peter J. Lucido’s legislation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan nursing homes.

The bill is one of several measures the Legislature approved early Wednesday morning to address the pandemic in the wake of a Michigan Supreme Court ruling striking down the governor’s coronavirus-related executive orders.

“It’s our moral duty as a society to protect our elders — far too many of whom have died from COVID-19 in nursing facilities,” said Lucido, R-Shelby Township. “I’m glad the Legislature was able to pass this bill to give our seniors and their families the protection and care they deserve.”

SB 1094 would reduce the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes by implementing recommendations of the Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force and prohibit individuals who have tested positive and not yet recovered from COVID-19 from being admitted into these facilities. Among other things, this bill requires the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in consultation with LARA to implement a process to create Care and Recovery Centers within nursing homes for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The bill would also require the state Department of Health and Human Services, by Nov. 15, to:

  • Conduct an evaluation of the COVID-19 regional hubs used in response to COVID-19 infections in nursing home facilities.
  • Develop a plan that follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and task force recommendations to implement dedicated facilities for COVID-19-positive patients in the state’s eight health care regions.
  • Describe in the plan how health care systems and hospitals with excess surge capacity can be used for the placement of COVID-19-positive individuals who are not eligible for admission at a hospital, nursing home or adult foster care facility.

“This reform is part of a process to work with the governor to put critical protections in law to prevent the spread of the virus among our most vulnerable people,” said Lucido. “It combines aspects from my previous legislation that the governor unfortunately vetoed this summer and recommendations from Gov. Whitmer’s Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force, and I hope she will sign the bill as soon as possible.”

SB 1094 will now be sent to the governor for her signature.