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.
On Monday, a 46-year-old pulmonologist at Spectrum Health became the first Michigan recipient of a COVID-19 vaccine. Health leaders say broad vaccination is needed to protect society, but businesses, including hospitals, do not yet appear ready to require them of workers.
Michigan health care workers have spent the last nine months in the trenches battling COVID. But not all will opt-in.
Two weeks after the holiday, coronavirus cases are declining in Michigan as they are increasing elsewhere. Health officials are optimistic families heeded the message to avoid larger gatherings.
Distribution begins with 56 hospitals and 16 health departments throughout Michigan, while those in health care settings, essential workers and the elderly are first in line.
An estimated 222,000 Michiganders lost employer-sponsored coverage in one four-month period this spring because of COVID-19, according to one report.
Vaccines may be shipped soon from Pfizer’s Kalamazoo plant, as the vaccine nears final approval. Michigan is receiving more than 250,000 doses, and first priority goes to health care workers.
The massive coronavirus vaccination effort to immunize Michigan's roughly 600,000 health care workers — and eventually the entire population — is in high gear as Pfizer's vaccine candidate undergoes a federal hearing Thursday to review whether it can be safely injected into the arms of millions of Americans.
Those who survive COVID-19 are often left with puzzling and sometimes debilitating conditions months after they are considered recovered from the infectious part of the disease.
Michigan is experiencing its highest levels of mortality since early in the pandemic. But COVID’s victims now are typically older and whiter.
The extension keeps bowling alleys, casinos and other businesses closed and bans indoor service at bars and restaurants while Whitmer again calls on the GOP Legislature for more unemployment aid and a mask mandate.
State officials are reaching out to Black residents, who have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic. While there is significant public skepticism toward a COVID vaccine, mistrust runs even deeper in the African-American community due to a legacy of mistreatment in government public health efforts.
The number of COVID hospitalizations across Michigan fell four days straight, teasing hope even as dozens of hospitals remain at or near capacity. It’s “not sustainable,” according to a state hospital association, asking Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to continue pandemic orders.
Dr. Arnold Monto of the University of Michigan chairs a national panel that will recommend whether to approve two vaccines for COVID-19 in the United States. He outlined what is known, and what isn’t, about the vaccines’ safety and reliability.
Robert Gordon, head of state public health, faced criticism from GOP legislators Thursday, who contend the Whitmer administration does not give enough weight to the mental health damage inflicted by school and economic shutdown orders.
A federal panel Tuesday evening issued guidance that prioritizes Michigan’s front-line workers and its elderly in long-term care facilities. Vaccines for other vulnerable groups to follow, before the general public.
Michigan’s health care workers would be the first in line to receive a vaccine, which was developed within a year — an unprecedented effort against a deadly virus. A vaccine for the general population could arrive as early as spring, Michigan’s chief medical executive tells Bridge.
After months of being separated from her husband during the COVID lockdown, Melanie Zeiger was thrilled to move Jerry into adult foster care, where she could hold his hand. Then COVID returned to the state’s long-term care centers, isolating them once more.
The public health system is so overwhelmed, health departments are advising residents not to expect a call from contact tracers if they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, federal money may soon run out.
A worst-case scenario calls for 1,000 weekly Michigan deaths from coronavirus by year’s end if we don’t change our ways. But getting compliance from those opposed to government pandemic orders is proving a hard sell.
The sadness and stress of handling so many COVID patients is getting to the state’s frontline health care workers, many of whom already struggled to cope in a job with long hours, little gratitude and daily tragedy.