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Legislature holds hearing on long-term care facility COVID-19 deaths

COVID

An auditor general's count of COVID-19 deaths connected to long-term care facilities was the subject of a hearing in Lansing today. That report found 30-percent more deaths than the state health department reported though the health department disputes that tally.

Republican House Oversight Committee chair Steve Johnson requested the report. He says he wanted the Auditor General to look at the impact of an early pandemic executive order setting up dedicated COVID-19 hubs in nursing homes.

"Everyone assumed that it was going to be enforced. Right? They were afraid that they were going to lose their license. It’s a misdemeanor if you violate it. And for them to come out there and say, ‘Well they didn’t have to follow it because we never enforced it.’ Well, no one knows that." said Committee Chair Johnson.

Johnson says the auditor's review shows the state put nursing home residents at risk and then downplayed the results.

The state health department says the report is based on unreliable data.