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Industry leader does not see 'stigma' for Michigan nursing homes hard hit by COVID-19

The state of Michigan is expected to soon start releasing more informationon the number of COVID-19 cases in specific nursing homes.

Hundreds of nursing home residents have tested positive for the disease in Michigan.

Melissa Samuel is the president of the Health Care Association of Michigan. She does not expect publicizing the numbers will “stigmatize” hard hit nursing homes.

“We shouldn’t be stigmatized,” says Samuel. “We should be held up...and our operators and workers should be held up for doing absolutely everything they can to prevent the spread.”

Health officials in Detroitexpect to complete an effort to test all nursing home residents in the city by the end of the day Thursday. So far, 26% of Detroit nursing homeresidents have tested positive for COVID-19.   129 have died. 

Mohammad Qazi operates nursing homes in southeast Michigan. One of Qazi’s facilities had more than a dozen residents die of COVID-19 early in the pandemic.

He says a lack of testing early oncomplicated efforts to identify which nursing home residents had been exposed to the coronavirus.   

“Unfortunately, it’s an infection that spreads very quickly,” says Qazi. “There’s really no way of knowing exactly from who to who and how it went. The best we can do is to contain it.”

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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