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Michigan lawmakers approve extension of unemployment benefits, new nursing home rules

LANSING — Michigan lawmakers worked until the wee hours Wednesday morning, waiting as legislative leaders and the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer debated behind closed doors on how best to help millions of workers and small businesses struggling due to the financial strain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Legislature sues Gov. Whitmer over emergency powers

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Leaders from the House and Senate met off and on for more than 16 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday with representatives from Whitmer’s administration to discuss the measures. After midnight early on Wednesday, lawmakers formalized agreements to extend unemployment benefits, outline new safety measures for nursing homes and create new legal protections for health care providers and other businesses.



a group of people sitting at a table: Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, as they talk to reporters Thursday, January 30, 2020 about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's State of the State speech.


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Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, as they talk to reporters Thursday, January 30, 2020 about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s

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Covid-19 isolated nursing home residents. Now it may keep them from voting.

Nursing home residents have always faced challenges voting — because of limited mobility, physical infirmity and the restrictive reality of institutional life. But there were many ways to get help: Residents who were mobile and had access to transportation could vote at general polling places, families could freely visit to help residents vote by mail, and, in some states, election officials conducted voting in nursing homes. Now, the novel coronavirus has changed much of that: In-person voting risks infection, and visitors who might help with mail-in voting are barred from many homes. Short-staffed and still concentrating on other challenges posed by the pandemic, facilities do not seem ready to step up.

“Facilities throughout the state have made little or no efforts to assist residents” to vote by mail in “what may be the most important election in their lifetimes,” representatives of a dozen community advocacy groups wrote to Pennsylvania health

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Mich. lawmakers approve unemployment benefits, new nursing home rules

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Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, announces a lawsuit Wednesday against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, over her use of emergency powers.

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LANSING — Michigan lawmakers worked until the wee hours Wednesday morning, waiting as legislative leaders and the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer debated behind closed doors on how best to help millions of workers and small businesses struggling due to the financial strain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Leaders from the House and Senate met off and on for more than 16 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday with representatives from Whitmer’s administration to discuss the measures. After midnight early on Wednesday, lawmakers formalized agreements to extend unemployment benefits, outline new safety measures for nursing homes and create new legal protections for health care providers and other businesses.

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, as they talk to reporters Thursday,

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Hundreds of Florida nursing home residents likely died indirectly from Hurricane Irma, study finds

Hurricane Irma caused the deaths of 134 Floridians in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. But the indirect death count likely was much higher, according to a study released last week that examined the deaths of 695 seniors living in nursing homes in the 90 days after the storm.

Researchers at the University of South Florida and Brown University used data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to examine the health outcomes of nearly 62,000 people aged 65 and older in 640 Florida nursing homes. They focused on the health outcomes of residents within specific time periods — before, during and after Hurricane Irma. Then they compared the residents’ health with people who lived in the same nursing homes during the same time period in 2015 — which had no hurricanes.

The likelihood of hospitalization and death increased significantly within 30 and 90 days after

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Mask ordinance extended through Nov. 8th; Hospital and nursing home restrictions eased

Governor Kay Ivey extended her health order including a statewide mask ordinance through November 8th as part of Alabama’s continued efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’ve heard from a lot of you and I hear you but I look forward to lifting the mask order as much as you do, if not more and hopefully that can be sooner, not later,” said Ivey acknowledging the frustration among many Alabamians eager to return to a sense of normalcy. 

Ivey’s announcement kept virtually all of Alabama’s Safer At Homer order in place. The new order did ease restrictions on hospitals and nursing homes by allowing patients and residents to  be visited by one caregiver or visitor at a time.

Nursing homes are still subject to a series of federal restrictions issued in September by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The regulations state a facility must go 14 days

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Systemic Racism Leads To Disparities In Nursing Home Covid-19 Cases, Deaths

As of September 13, U.S. nursing homes have reported over 230,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 55,400 Covid-19 deaths according to preliminary data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Black, Latino, and Native American or Alaska Native people are overrepresented in overall U.S. case and death totals, and it appears that similar disparities persist in nursing homes.

A new study from researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center and IMPAQ, a policy research and analytics firm, found that nursing homes with a disproportionate number of non-white residents had more new Covid-19 cases among residents and staff and more deaths among residents.

These disparities arise from the systemic racism that affects Black and indigenous communities and

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After a 5-year battle, bill to increase N.J. nursing home staffing passes. It’s now up to Murphy.

It took five years and a worldwide pandemic to make it happen, but state lawmakers Thursday approved a bill that would require a minimum number of frontline nursing home workers on every shift.



a man holding a sign: Tonya Monture looks on at her husband Robert Montuore after he spoke about her father, Howard Conyack Sr. that died at the facility. Rally by veterans groups and union workers at the state run Menlo Park nursing home for veterans, where at least 65 residents and one staff member died of cover, in Edison, N.J. September, 16, 2020 r


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Tonya Monture looks on at her husband Robert Montuore after he spoke about her father, Howard Conyack Sr. that died at the facility. Rally by veterans groups and union workers at the state run Menlo Park nursing home for veterans, where at least 65 residents and one staff member died of cover, in Edison, N.J. September, 16, 2020 r

Certified nursing aides — who feed, bathe and comfort nursing home residents and get paid an average of about $36,000 a year — have long complained they have more responsibilities than they can handle, especially on nights and weekends. The coronavirus outbreak sickened

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Continue Reading After a 5-year battle, bill to increase N.J. nursing home staffing passes. It’s now up to Murphy.
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U.S. Tops 7 Million; Nursing Home Managers Charged: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The number of U.S. coronavirus cases rose above 7 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Virginia’s governor tested positive, days after Missouri’s governor was also diagnosed with the infection.

In the first case of its kind in the U.S., Massachusetts is charging the former managers of a veteran’s home where 76 people died of the virus. Florida’s governor is lifting capacity restrictions on restaurants.

London was added to a watchlist of potential pandemic hot spots. Spain’s government asked for restrictions on movement to extend across the entire city of Madrid. The Netherlands, Greece, Denmark and Poland are also grappling with extending or imposing new restrictions.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 32.3 million; deaths exceed 984,000This is why Covid may be life-threatening for some patientsAn American CEO living in Sweden has a Covid lesson to shareWho’s succeeding against the coronavirus and why?: QuickTakeDeath toll nears

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Two Charged For Handling Of Coronavirus At Veteran’s Home, Believed To Be First Criminal Case Over Nursing Home Deaths

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Two former leaders of a Massachusetts home for aging veterans, where nearly 80 people have died from Covid-19, have been charged for their handling of the outbreak, the state’s attorney general said Friday, in what she says is believed to be the first U.S. criminal case brought nursing home staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Facts

Former Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former Medical Director David Clinton were indicted by a grand jury, Attorney General Maura Healey told reporters. 

Each is charged with 10 counts, five counts of criminal neglect and five counts of serious bodily injury, and have yet to comment on the charges.

The charges come three months after a scathing independent report said “utterly baffling” decisions made by Walsh and other administrators allowed the

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North Carolina has $35 million in unused nursing home fines

This article first appeared on North Carolina Health News and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Federal regulators can fine North Carolina nursing homes upward of a half-million dollars when facilities go seriously wrong — as in the case of a Fayetteville resident who died after staff found her with fire ants covering her face and upper body.

The deadly 2019 incident described in state records brought a fine of more than $530,000 against Carolina Rehab Center of Cumberland. Federal law mandates that the fines, amounting to $35 million in N.C., must be used to improve quality of life for nursing home residents through grants to facilities and agencies.

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Fines levied after an investigation into the fire-ant attack went into state coffers set up for this purpose, into a pot that bulges larger year after year and puts North Carolina third highest in such totals nationally.

But why

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