Michigan Health Watch

In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident. 

Articles

Coronavirus Tracker | Cases climb to 3,271 with over 400 reported in Oakland County

Coronavirus Tracker | Cases climb to 3,271 with over 400 reported in Oakland County

October 28, 2020 | Bridge Staff

This continuously updated post includes details of Michigan's confirmed COVID-19 cases, maps of locations, state curve data, what the state is doing to contain the spread, and expert suggestions on how you can stay safe.

Michigan hospitals turn to $15 minimum wage to fill job openings

Michigan hospitals turn to $15 minimum wage to fill job openings

October 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner, Robin Erb

Two of the state’s largest health care systems bumped minimum wages to $15 an hour amid competition for entry-level workers. Nursing home employees in 14 southeast Michigan nursing homes also are on their way to pay increases.

As Mackinac Island empties for winter, COVID arrives for a stay

As Mackinac Island empties for winter, COVID arrives for a stay

October 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

Tourists flooded onto the iconic Michigan landmark during the second half of the summer. Somehow, the island escaped large COVID-19 outbreaks. That has now changed.

Michigan hospitals paid bonuses amid COVID, then took bailouts, cut jobs

Michigan hospitals paid bonuses amid COVID, then took bailouts, cut jobs

October 23, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

Beaumont Health and Henry Ford Health System, two of the state’s largest nonprofit systems, awarded executive bonuses in March, as the pandemic descended on the state. They then laid off thousands and accepted more than $700 million in U.S. taxpayer funds.

Months after COVID, 1 in 4 Michiganders studied have yet to recover

Months after COVID, 1 in 4 Michiganders studied have yet to recover

October 21, 2020 | Robin Erb

In a study of people who suffered severe to minimal symptoms, there were significant levels of fatigue, shortness of breath and stress. Researchers at the University of Michigan will continue to examine the ongoing toll in the state.

Another casualty of COVID: testing for lead poisoning in Michigan

Another casualty of COVID: testing for lead poisoning in Michigan

October 21, 2020 | Robin Erb

In old paint, water pipes and the ground, lead can leave a child with a lifetime of learning problems and mental health issues. But during the pandemic, the number of children being tested for poisoning has been cut in half.

Coronavirus hits new high in Michigan. Is it a ‘blip’ or ‘surge’?

Coronavirus hits new high in Michigan. Is it a ‘blip’ or ‘surge’?

October 15, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Robin Erb

As cases surge to levels unseen in months, the virus is spreading fast in corners of Michigan that had been mostly spared. Experts blame ‘pandemic fatigue’ but the good news is deaths remain relatively low.

Michigan riding ‘second’ COVID wave that could bring more deaths

Michigan riding ‘second’ COVID wave that could bring more deaths

October 13, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Cases of the new coronavirus are increasing across all Michigan regions, with hospitalizations doubling since late September. Residents are urged to stick with restrictions as flu season begins despite “pandemic fatigue.”

‘Open up everything!’ Michigan GOP’s push for herd immunity on COVID

‘Open up everything!’ Michigan GOP’s push for herd immunity on COVID

October 12, 2020 | Robin Erb

A Michigan infectious disease doctor says we’ve overdone coronavirus lockdown rules, an argument embraced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. The medical establishment calls such views dangerous.

Health experts to Shirkey: COVID herd immunity would kill 30K in Michigan

Health experts to Shirkey: COVID herd immunity would kill 30K in Michigan

October 12, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

Five public health leaders have sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey rebuking his comments about “herd immunity” and asking for a hearing focused on the science of the virus.

50 men held an Upper Peninsula retreat traced to COVID. No one’s talking.

50 men held an Upper Peninsula retreat traced to COVID. No one’s talking.

October 9, 2020 | Robin Erb

Officials said the organizer hung up on a nurse trying to warn others of possible exposure. Another person accused health officials of ‘working for Satan.’ Meanwhile, infections proliferate in the eastern U.P.

As coronavirus spreads in Michigan, racial and age disparities shrink

As coronavirus spreads in Michigan, racial and age disparities shrink

October 7, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

In recent weeks, the coronavirus is striking more middle-age residents after disproportionately hitting younger ones. And as it moves statewide, the virus is impacting fewer African Americans.

Once a state hotspot, Detroit has one of the lowest rates of coronavirus in Michigan

Once a state hotspot, Detroit has one of the lowest rates of coronavirus in Michigan

October 6, 2020 | Olivia Lewis, Mike Wilkinson

Once a COVID hotspot, Detroit lost 1,300 people to the virus. The city and its residents fought back and say limited interactions, face masks and frequent hand-washing make the difference. Detroit now has one of the lowest rates in the state.

Whitmer order sets up COVID-positive nursing units in Michigan

Whitmer order sets up COVID-positive nursing units in Michigan

October 1, 2020 | Robin Erb

The latest executive order also loosens community dining restrictions in facilities and expands reporting requirements of coronavirus cases to include legal guardians and prospective residents or staff.

Health officials: Party on (safely) during rare Blue Moon Halloween

Health officials: Party on (safely) during rare Blue Moon Halloween

September 30, 2020 | Robin Erb

From homemade candy chutes to slipping treats across a clean table, health officials urge creativity in keeping trick-or-treat safe. 

1 in 3 U.S. parents will skip kids’ flu shots, but Michigan has early gains

1 in 3 U.S. parents will skip kids’ flu shots, but Michigan has early gains

September 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

Despite pleas from health experts to guard against flu before a COVID resurgence, some parents aren’t comfortable taking children to the doctor. But so far in Michigan, there’s a 30 percent rise in flu shots.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula getting hit hard by surge of coronavirus cases

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula getting hit hard by surge of coronavirus cases

September 24, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

After months of relatively few cases, the Upper Peninsula has seen coronavirus case counts soar, with most in the western part of the region along the border with Wisconsin.

Surviving COVID, but with life changed, and the future less certain

Surviving COVID, but with life changed, and the future less certain

September 21, 2020 | Robin Erb

After being hospitalized with the coronavirus, many “long-hauler” patients return home with a host of serious symptoms, from brain fog to tremors and unrelenting fatigue. Longer-term complications such as dementia or organ problems are still being studied.

Michigan health officials seek to increase flu vaccines by 1M amid pandemic

Michigan health officials seek to increase flu vaccines by 1M amid pandemic

September 21, 2020 | Robin Erb

Health officials worry about a ‘twindemic’ of the flu and COVID-19, and some are getting creative about distributing vaccines as many workplaces remain closed.

Michigan infant, whose death was tied to COVID, had serious health troubles

Michigan infant, whose death was tied to COVID, had serious health troubles

September 18, 2020 | Robin Erb

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, had said the boy died “because of COVID-19.” But a medical examiner’s report lists a birth defect as the cause of death, with respiratory problems caused by COVID as a complicating factor. 

Pages