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Non-profit says Michigan should roll back COVID-19 visitation restrictions


A not-for-profit representing 270 senior communities says its time the state of Michigan begins rolling back some of its COVID-19 visitation restrictions.

LeadingAge Michigan says the COVID-19 visitation restrictions imposed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services exceed nursing home guidance issued by the federal government.

“In counties in the state of Michigan that have spread rate that is at a certain level there is no visitation. In fact, even residents who are COVID positive at the end of life cannot have any visitors under the present guidance by Michigan.”

David Herbel is President and CEO of LeadingAge Michigan. He says the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are down. And over the course of a year, there are Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety protocols in place along with elevated testing, antibiotic therapeutics and vaccines.

“Many of these seniors, of course, have done tremendous things in their lives and they’ve had some health complications, but that doesn’t mean they can’t determine the level of risk they’re willing to live with in order to see their families,” said Herbel.

Herbel says following the science includes input from gerontologist studying the impacts of isolation, depression and quality of life.

LeadingAge Michigan is launching a public awareness campaign called “Give Seniors a Say” aimed at supporting seniors’ rights.