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 | Michigan's confirmed cases fall

Coronavirus Tracker | Michigan's confirmed cases fall

August 12, 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.

Staff at Michigan nursing homes ravaged by COVID-19 set to strike

Staff at Michigan nursing homes ravaged by COVID-19 set to strike

August 12, 2020 | Robin Erb

Saying they are underpaid and unprotected, union members of SEIU Healthcare Michigan say they’re ready to walk. State nursing home advocate says pay has increased; COVID made staffing and PPE a struggle.

Michigan’s ‘tampon tax’ challenged in new lawsuit

Michigan’s ‘tampon tax’ challenged in new lawsuit

August 12, 2020 | Barbara Rodriguez, The 19th

The litigation is part of a national movement toward exempting menstrual products from states' sales taxes.

Coronavirus surges among Michigan teens as school nears. Blame partying

Coronavirus surges among Michigan teens as school nears. Blame partying

August 11, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

With school openings approaching, infections are increasing among those 19 and younger in Michigan, which experts attribute to the hubris of youth and lack of social distancing.

Michigan declares racism a health crisis. Without funding, it’s symbolic.

Michigan declares racism a health crisis. Without funding, it’s symbolic.

August 11, 2020 | Robin Erb

In Michigan and elsewhere, Black residents have lower life expectancies and face a host of health inequities. An order from Gov. Whitmer declares racism a health threat, but officials say funding and follow-through is key to make a difference.

$5 million in federal grants not a lot to solve Michigan’s rural opioid crisis

$5 million in federal grants not a lot to solve Michigan’s rural opioid crisis

August 11, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

One mental health official says the funds “won’t go very far at all,” as the state’s opioid overdose rates start to climb once again after the coronavirus outbreak hit Michigan in the spring.

Defund police or reform? What a city in Oregon can teach Michigan

Defund police or reform? What a city in Oregon can teach Michigan

August 11, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

In Eugene, thousands of 911 police calls involving the mentally ill are routed to a mobile crisis team that’s been on the road more than 30 years. That gives police more time and focus to handle violent crime for which they are better trained.

Michigan families fight to see seniors amid COVID-19, even in hospice care

Michigan families fight to see seniors amid COVID-19, even in hospice care

August 10, 2020 | Robin Erb

Despite new guidelines intended to give nursing homes and other facilities more discretion to allow visitors during a pandemic, families say some centers remain rigid, hurting the residents they are trying to protect.

What do you want? she asked her hubby in MI nursing home. ‘You,’ he said.

What do you want? she asked her hubby in MI nursing home. ‘You,’ he said.

August 10, 2020 | Robin Erb

Isolation is sapping the life of residents in nursing homes and other facilities amid no-visitation policies during COVID-19. As restrictions grind on, Bridge tells the stories of six residents, who are fading a bit day by lonely day. 

Poll: 3 in 10 in Michigan reluctant to take a free COVID-19 vaccine

Poll: 3 in 10 in Michigan reluctant to take a free COVID-19 vaccine

August 5, 2020 | Robin Erb

The rush to develop a vaccine quickly is the very reason many COVID vaccine skeptics say they don’t trust it. If not enough people take an approved vaccine, it would be difficult to achieve herd immunity to protect residents from the virus.

Michigan hospitals test if plasma from recovering patients can curb COVID-19

Michigan hospitals test if plasma from recovering patients can curb COVID-19

July 30, 2020 | Robin Erb

Antibody-rich plasma is thought to save lives among the sickest coronavirus patients. Michigan’s major hospitals now will see if it helps the mildly sick before they get worse.

Getting Michiganders to take COVID-19 vaccine: ‘My trust just isn’t there’

Getting Michiganders to take COVID-19 vaccine: ‘My trust just isn’t there’

July 28, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Large numbers in the U.S., especially African Americans with an eye on history, say they’re wary of a COVID-19 vaccine. Public health leaders say much work is needed to develop public confidence in the safety of a vaccine.

Opioid abuse surges in Michigan amid misery from the coronavirus

Opioid abuse surges in Michigan amid misery from the coronavirus

July 27, 2020 | Robin Erb

New state data and reports from county medical examiners show a rise in opioid-related overdoses and deaths in parts of Michigan, which was likely fueled by the isolation and anxiety of the pandemic.

Michigan COVID-19 labs are again seeing delays as more people are tested

Michigan COVID-19 labs are again seeing delays as more people are tested

July 22, 2020 | Robin Erb

COVID-19 tests were once reserved for very sick or at-risk groups. Now people across the state are now getting tested. But the volume is slowing results and straining test supplies, making it harder to track the virus’ spread. 

What COVID-19 test is best? Who pays in Michigan? What you need to know.

What COVID-19 test is best? Who pays in Michigan? What you need to know.

July 22, 2020 | Robin Erb

Testing criteria has changed. So have the options. But which test is most reliable? Bridge has sorted out answers to some frequently asked questions. 

Here’s what Michigan nursing homes that escaped coronavirus did right

Here’s what Michigan nursing homes that escaped coronavirus did right

July 20, 2020 | Patricia Anstett

Nursing facilities across much of Michigan were devastated by COVID-19, but roughly 200 homes have dodged the virus. Their strategies can help public health experts develop best practices for the next outbreak.

Michigan coronavirus cases rise. Here’s why we are not Texas or Florida.

Michigan coronavirus cases rise. Here’s why we are not Texas or Florida.

July 17, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Case increases in Michigan bear watching but the state is not yet experiencing the explosion seen in the South and West. Here are the metrics public health experts follow to mark the virus’ arc in Michigan.

A Michigan guide to wearing masks, or not, during coronavirus

A Michigan guide to wearing masks, or not, during coronavirus

July 15, 2020 | Robin Erb

Do masks work? Do disability or medical privacy laws allow me to enter a store without one? Michigan researchers, doctors and a lawyer weigh in on the much-debated mask mandate.

As Michigan COVID cases soar, infected residents won’t cooperate with tracers

As Michigan COVID cases soar, infected residents won’t cooperate with tracers

July 15, 2020 | Riley Beggin

State officials say a third of people contacted by tracers are refusing to say who they’ve potentially exposed, helping fuel a recent jump in coronavirus cases that has Michigan health officials worried.

Violence erupts in Michigan over state mask mandate ‘powder keg’

Violence erupts in Michigan over state mask mandate ‘powder keg’

July 14, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ron French, Jonathan Oosting

Tensions are boiling over as confrontations increase over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's mask rule designed to contain COVID-19 becomes “the number one anxiety-producing pain point for retailers right now.”

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