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 hospitals hit peak of over 4,000 patients

Coronavirus Tracker | Michigan hospitals hit peak of over 4,000 patients

November 23, 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.

He had dementia and COVID. She wanted to hold him when he died.

He had dementia and COVID. She wanted to hold him when he died.

November 23, 2020 | Robin Erb

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.

With COVID everywhere, Michigan contact tracers losing control of spread

With COVID everywhere, Michigan contact tracers losing control of spread

November 20, 2020 | Kelly House

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.

Michigan officials say no to big Thanksgiving gatherings. Who will listen?

Michigan officials say no to big Thanksgiving gatherings. Who will listen?

November 20, 2020 | Robin Erb

A worst-case scenario calls for 1,000 daily 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.

Michigan hospital workers weary as public support fades, COVID cases rise

Michigan hospital workers weary as public support fades, COVID cases rise

November 20, 2020 | Dustin Dwyer, Michigan Radio, Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

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.

Michigan has 6th highest number of COVID-19 cases in nation, 5th highest deaths

Michigan has 6th highest number of COVID-19 cases in nation, 5th highest deaths

November 18, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Michigan now ranks sixth nationally in coronavirus cases and fifth for the number of COVID-19 related deaths, state health officials say.

Beaumont Health paid CEO $2.6 million bonus weeks before bailout

Beaumont Health paid CEO $2.6 million bonus weeks before bailout

November 17, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

Beaumont Health paid its chief executive a $2.6 million bonus weeks before the state's largest hospital system turned to the federal government for a financial bailout.

Want a COVID test for your Michigan Thanksgiving? Expect… to… wait.

Want a COVID test for your Michigan Thanksgiving? Expect… to… wait.

November 13, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Robin Erb

With a surge on demand for testing — which is expected to grow in the coming days — some labs already face a backlog.

Michigan hospitals plead with residents to mask up, ditch holiday plans

Michigan hospitals plead with residents to mask up, ditch holiday plans

November 12, 2020 | Robin Erb

With a surge in COVID cases across the state and country, hospital staff is limited. The CEO’s say another statewide lock-down isn’t the answer but are urging residents instead to take personal steps to reduce spread of the virus.

Losing one of their own to COVID: Flint hospital mourns beloved nurse

Losing one of their own to COVID: Flint hospital mourns beloved nurse

November 12, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio

Santa Staples, born on Christmas Day, was a singular presence at McClaren, where she ran the operating room with military precision. A nurse for 33 years, she died Saturday of COVID-19, one of at least two Michigan nurses lost to the virus in the past week.

COVID patients quadruple in Michigan hospitals since October

COVID patients quadruple in Michigan hospitals since October

November 9, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

The number of coronavirus cases has skyrocketed in recent weeks and those cases are creating increasing demand on hospitals across the state. Health care leaders are calling for more vigilance with masks and social distancing.

Michigan passes 200,000 COVID cases. What we’ve learned, and haven’t.

Michigan passes 200,000 COVID cases. What we’ve learned, and haven’t.

November 6, 2020 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

Michigan’s public health leaders and doctors begin to wonder: Will a pandemic-weary public take notice?

A small hospital in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula braces for COVID

A small hospital in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula braces for COVID

November 6, 2020 | Robin Erb

There are 15 hospitals sprinkled across more than 300 miles in the U.P. Many have no or few beds for ICU patients. And that’s usually fine, until a pandemic strikes.

Michigan’s deer season could scatter COVID-19, health leaders say

Michigan’s deer season could scatter COVID-19, health leaders say

November 1, 2020 | Robin Erb, Bob Campbell

Cards, drinking, shared meals and sleeping quarters — deer camp traditions could send hunters home with COVID-19 as well as a prized buck, say health officials.

Upper Peninsula man nearly killed by COVID. He still doubts the data.

Upper Peninsula man nearly killed by COVID. He still doubts the data.

November 1, 2020 | Robin Erb

After nine days in the hospital, Dwaine Taylor — COVID case #290 in Delta County — said he no longer believes the coronavirus is a hoax. But he remains skeptical of the cases elsewhere, underscoring an awkward truth: COVID is complex, and so are people and politics.

West Michigan contact tracers are overwhelmed by volume of COVID cases

West Michigan contact tracers are overwhelmed by volume of COVID cases

October 30, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

As Michigan cases spike, health officials in Kent, Calhoun and Ottawa counties say they need more personnel to quickly contact infected individuals to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. And too often, the people they do reach won’t cooperate.

Michigan hospitals turn to $15 minimum wage to fill job openings

Michigan hospitals turn to $15 minimum wage to fill job openings

October 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner, Robin Erb

Two of the state’s largest health care systems bumped minimum wages to $15 an hour amid competition for entry-level workers. Nursing home employees in 14 southeast Michigan nursing homes also are on their way to pay increases.

As Mackinac Island empties for winter, COVID arrives for a stay

As Mackinac Island empties for winter, COVID arrives for a stay

October 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

Tourists flooded onto the iconic Michigan landmark during the second half of the summer. Somehow, the island escaped large COVID-19 outbreaks. That has now changed.

Michigan hospitals paid bonuses amid COVID, then took bailouts, cut jobs

Michigan hospitals paid bonuses amid COVID, then took bailouts, cut jobs

October 23, 2020 | Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press

Beaumont Health and Henry Ford Health System, two of the state’s largest nonprofit systems, awarded executive bonuses in March, as the pandemic descended on the state. They then laid off thousands and accepted more than $700 million in U.S. taxpayer funds.

Months after COVID, 1 in 4 Michiganders studied have yet to recover

Months after COVID, 1 in 4 Michiganders studied have yet to recover

October 21, 2020 | Robin Erb

In a study of people who suffered severe to minimal symptoms, there were significant levels of fatigue, shortness of breath and stress. Researchers at the University of Michigan will continue to examine the ongoing toll in the state.

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