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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Testing criteria has changed. So have the options. But which test is most reliable? Bridge has sorted out answers to some frequently asked questions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Disheartened by images of raucous crowds ignoring safety measures, some health officials wonder if contact tracing — long a trusted tactic in controlling infectious diseases — may be losing its usefulness.
Michigan vaccinations in May were down 46 percent, raising health concerns about the flu and other illnesses. More troubling: rates for children 9 to 18 were down 66 percent, casting doubt on whether they will be allowed to enroll in school in the fall.
Industries that serve the vulnerable see risky behaviors among young workers, but say they’re limited on what they can do.
Metro Detroit seniors are embracing online doctor visits using a customized tablet that makes technology less intimidating. It could prove a model for seniors increasingly dependent on telehealth to visit doctors.
Researchers at Beaumont Health say they are using technology they first developed to detect the zika virus. The test, which has yet to win FDA approval, is reliable, inexpensive and easier to administer, researchers say.
The coronavirus pandemic made it hard to see therapists but easy to buy a gun. Now, a Michigan family is grieving and searching for answers after their son’s suicide.
The drug’s effects had been called into question after a series of studies and controversies since it was promoted by President Trump. A study at Henry Ford Health System found lower death rates when the drug is given early.