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 | State adds 504 new confirmed infections

Coronavirus Tracker | State adds 504 new confirmed infections

September 22, 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.

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. 

Grand Valley State students ordered to stay home to tamp down COVID-19 upswing

Grand Valley State students ordered to stay home to tamp down COVID-19 upswing

September 16, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ron French

COVID is spreading at Grand Valley through off-campus gatherings and students who become infected aren’t saying who they’ve been hanging out with, health officials said.

In tense hearing, Whitmer official defends MI COVID nursing home strategy

In tense hearing, Whitmer official defends MI COVID nursing home strategy

September 16, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

Republican legislators accused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s  administration of failing to adequately prepare for the pandemic. “20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing,” countered state health director Robert Gordon.

Outdoor visits now ‘expected’ at Michigan nursing homes, state says

Outdoor visits now ‘expected’ at Michigan nursing homes, state says

September 10, 2020 | Robin Erb

Michigan health officials announced that nursing homes may find ways to allow loved ones to meet with residents under certain conditions. The state also may soon approve a provision that allows family members to volunteer in homes.

Xavier DeGroat will not be stopped. Michigan autism activist goes to D.C.

Xavier DeGroat will not be stopped. Michigan autism activist goes to D.C.

September 8, 2020 | Robin Erb

DeGroat’s bulldog persistence has yielded bipartisan legislation in Lansing and a network of powerful backers. 

Michigan coronavirus caseloads haven’t budged in months. Why that’s not bad.

Michigan coronavirus caseloads haven’t budged in months. Why that’s not bad.

September 4, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

For two months, Michigan coronavirus cases have plateaued at about 650 per day after declining for weeks. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer cited the caseloads in extending her state of emergency Thursday, but epidemiologists say they should induce calm, not panic, since they reflect higher testing and more asymptomatic patients.

COVID-19 vaccine race heats up with clinical trials at 3 Michigan sites

COVID-19 vaccine race heats up with clinical trials at 3 Michigan sites

September 2, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Michigan Medicine, Henry Ford and a medical research center based in Farmington Hills are involved in Phase 3 clinical trials to find a safe and effective vaccine for a virus that has killed over 183,000 people in the United States.

Michigan to identify K-12 schools with coronavirus outbreaks Sept. 14

Michigan to identify K-12 schools with coronavirus outbreaks Sept. 14

September 1, 2020 | Robin Erb

The state’s announcement follows weeks of pressure as many parents must decide whether to send their children to school or have them learn from home. State officials did not include colleges in its decision.

Seniors from metro Detroit are aging prematurely as young become caregivers

Seniors from metro Detroit are aging prematurely as young become caregivers

August 31, 2020 | Olivia Lewis

The third edition of a longstanding report shows Detroiters are more likely to die from chronic health conditions than other Michiganders. While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared racism as a public health issue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, experts say it will take a collective effort from every sector to see change.

Michigan nears 100K coronavirus cases. Maps, graphics show pandemic’s path.

Michigan nears 100K coronavirus cases. Maps, graphics show pandemic’s path.

August 28, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

After the crush of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths that spurred a statewide stay-at-home order, Michigan has seen case counts fall as testing has ramped up and shown positive results.

Michigan COVID-19 hospital patients got unneeded antibiotics during surge

Michigan COVID-19 hospital patients got unneeded antibiotics during surge

August 27, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

As the coronavirus surged through Michigan last spring, doctors often gave new patients unnecessary antibiotics as they awaited test results, resulting in resistance to antibiotics later in their hospital stays when they developed infections. 

Pandemic takes toll on Michigan children with autism and their families

Pandemic takes toll on Michigan children with autism and their families

August 26, 2020 | Anna Clark

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, affirming that all people have the right to participate in civil society. During the pandemic, however, families who have children with autism face the complexity of everything from mask-wearing, and virtual therapy, to getting the vital services they need and feeling overwhelmed.

Swabs, sewage and campus bubbles: Can COVID testing keep colleges open?

Swabs, sewage and campus bubbles: Can COVID testing keep colleges open?

August 24, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ron French

With guesswork built into coronavirus testing at Michigan colleges and universities, campus leaders hope to keep students and staff safe. Nobody, it seems, knows if their plans are likely to work. 

Michigan to identify schools with COVID outbreaks. In a couple of weeks.

Michigan to identify schools with COVID outbreaks. In a couple of weeks.

August 21, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ron French

There are 14 coronavirus outbreaks reported at Michigan colleges and K-12 schools. The state’s top doc says Michigan’s data system doesn’t collect school names now, and will have to be updated. Until then, nothing.

Despite FDA delay, Michigan to keep using convalescent plasma for COVID-19

Despite FDA delay, Michigan to keep using convalescent plasma for COVID-19

August 20, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

The FDA has delayed approving broader use of convalescent plasma until more randomized studies are completed. But Henry Ford and U-M doctors will continue to study the promising treatment on coronavirus patients. 

Michigan has 14 school-related coronavirus outbreaks. State won’t say where.

Michigan has 14 school-related coronavirus outbreaks. State won’t say where.

August 19, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ron French

The state health department declined to say which K-12 schools or colleges had confirmed outbreaks, noting that it has not done so for many businesses. One education leader said parents will likely want to know. 

IQOS (heated tobacco) replaces vaping as the next cigarette alternative

IQOS (heated tobacco) replaces vaping as the next cigarette alternative

August 17, 2020 | Robin Erb

A federal agency is allowing Philip Morris to market its product as producing fewer harmful chemicals than smoked tobacco, even as it delivers about as much nicotine.

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