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

Health board accuses Michigan State Police of being lax on Capitol protesters

Health board accuses Michigan State Police of being lax on Capitol protesters

May 12, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

An Ingham County community health board said state and Lansing officials endanger public safety by not cracking down on anti-Whitmer protesters who do not follow restrictions intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Police say they will take enforcement action when necessary.

See how the coronavirus has affected regions of Michigan differently

See how the coronavirus has affected regions of Michigan differently

May 12, 2020 | Bridge Staff

Michigan releases daily reports on case counts from eight regions across the state. There are few cases in northern Michigan and declining ones in Metro Detroit. But the southwest and west parts of Michigan are still seeing elevated case counts.

Bound by faith, a Michigan couple journeys back from COVID-19’s clutches

Bound by faith, a Michigan couple journeys back from COVID-19’s clutches

May 10, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

The Inkster couple who did everything together journeys back from the brink of death. Their story demonstrates that leaving the hospital is just one step in a long way back from COVID-19.

In Michigan, 23K are ‘recovered’ from COVID. Many still feel like hell.

In Michigan, 23K are ‘recovered’ from COVID. Many still feel like hell.

May 10, 2020 | Robin Erb

Destroyed kidneys, ravaged lungs and liver — the coronavirus that nearly killed some patients leaves them struggling to do everyday tasks long after Michigan considers them ‘recovered.’

Michigan’s definition of coronavirus ‘recovery’ looser than other states

Michigan’s definition of coronavirus ‘recovery’ looser than other states

May 10, 2020 | Robin Erb

Michigan counts those “who are 30 days out from their onset of illness” as recovered. The definition reflects the disconnect between data and real life underscores both the shortcomings in reporting.

Michigan launches coronavirus contact tracing. Here’s what you need to know.

Michigan launches coronavirus contact tracing. Here’s what you need to know.

May 9, 2020 | Kelly House, Riley Beggin

Contact tracers are a key to reopening Michigan safely. With some setbacks, the state is on track to meet the need. On Saturday, state officials announced a contract with a company affiliated with billionaire Dan Gilbert to help the effort.

 Part nurse, part detective: A day in the life of a Michigan contact tracer

Part nurse, part detective: A day in the life of a Michigan contact tracer

May 9, 2020 | Kelly House

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit Michigan, Christina Zilke has been on a mission to make sure COVID-19 carriers don’t spread the disease.  Soon, there will be thousands of others like her tracing the movements and staying in touch with those infected by the illness.

Detroit's $9 million field hospital shuts after treating 39 COVID patients

Detroit's $9 million field hospital shuts after treating 39 COVID patients

May 8, 2020 | Will Callan, Michigan Radio

The 1,000-bed temporary hospital at TCF Center in Detroit releases its final patient. A spokesperson for the  federal government stresses the closure isn’t necessarily permanent and will be ready in case there is a second wave of the coronavirus.

Treatment and trials go on, but Michigan doctors split on coronavirus drug

Treatment and trials go on, but Michigan doctors split on coronavirus drug

May 8, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio, Robin Erb, Kelly House

Hydroxychloroquine was touted early on as possible treatment for COVID-19 patients, but a growing body of research points to possibly deadly side effects

Why a coronavirus vaccine takes so long, and some possible shortcuts

Why a coronavirus vaccine takes so long, and some possible shortcuts

May 7, 2020 | Brie Zeltner

Labs across the globe are racing to develop a vaccine, with unlimited funding from governments and philanthropy. Still, human testing takes time and precision, making a one-year prediction optimistic at best. 

Plasma may hold promise for Michigan coronavirus patients, but where is it?

Plasma may hold promise for Michigan coronavirus patients, but where is it?

May 7, 2020 | Robin Erb

Some families turn to social media as doctors work the phones trying to find plasma donors among those who beat the virus, a treatment with early promise but for which proven benefits are not yet known.

With higher suicide risk during coronavirus, Michigan makes plans to help

With higher suicide risk during coronavirus, Michigan makes plans to help

May 5, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Mental health advocates highlight a rise in anxiety from the pandemic and economic disruption in Michigan, as experts devise ways to help health care workers and ordinary residents in an extraordinary time.

Detroit children’s hospital ousts 25 pediatricians in war with Wayne State

Detroit children’s hospital ousts 25 pediatricians in war with Wayne State

May 5, 2020 | Robin Erb

Wayne State University School of Medicine’s new dean calls the action an “egregious” violation of the Detroit Medical Center’s mission. It’s the latest turn in a years’ long legal drama.

These Michigan doctors treated coronavirus: Here’s what they learned

These Michigan doctors treated coronavirus: Here’s what they learned

May 5, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

Southeast Michigan doctors got a crash course in treating COVID-19, an experience that caused them to question what they thought they knew about the coronavirus and how to keep patients alive. Some hospitals reached different results.

ER visits plummet amid pandemic: 'More people are dying at home'

ER visits plummet amid pandemic: 'More people are dying at home'

May 5, 2020 | Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

Hospitals are urging the public not to be afraid of going to the emergency room for a medical emergency as COVID-19 fears caused ER visits to plummet.

As coronavirus eases, Michigan hospitals ramp up more lucrative procedures

As coronavirus eases, Michigan hospitals ramp up more lucrative procedures

May 4, 2020 | Robin Erb

Michigan hospitals were forced to halt non-emergency surgeries and procedures as COVID-19 surged. The state is now blessing their decision to take patients with less urgent but “time-sensitive” cases. 

Remembering 11 Felician Sisters in Livonia who died in April

Remembering 11 Felician Sisters in Livonia who died in April

May 3, 2020 | Robin Erb

At least five of the deaths were linked to the coronavirus, which tore through the convent. There were 60 to 70 sisters, many of them elderly, living at the convent prior to the pandemic.

Coronavirus tears through a beloved Michigan convent devoted to service

Coronavirus tears through a beloved Michigan convent devoted to service

May 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

The Felician Sisters, who founded Madonna University, schools, a hospice and hospital in Livonia, were hit by 22 cases of COVID-19. The order lost 11 sisters in 16 days, with at least five deaths tied to the virus.

Beaumont hospital near Detroit to reopen as coronavirus surge never came

Beaumont hospital near Detroit to reopen as coronavirus surge never came

May 1, 2020 | Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

The hospital in the Downriver community of Wayne was shut down to general medical services as the system prepped for a flood of COVID-19 cases. While those cases flooded its other hospitals, the surge never extended to Wayne 

Headache? Sore throat? Pay attention to these new coronavirus symptoms

Headache? Sore throat? Pay attention to these new coronavirus symptoms

May 1, 2020 | Brie Zeltner

The CDC added six additional symptoms, including headaches and sore throats, as possible signs of COVID-19 spread. Knowing these new symptoms will help you make better decisions on when to remain isolated. 

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