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Michigan seniors communities advocate says it's time for state to rollback visitation restrictions

Give Seniors A Say logo

A not-for-profit representing 270 senior communities says its time the state of Michigan begins rolling back some of its COVID-19 visitation restrictions.

LeadingAge Michigan says the COVID-19 visitation restrictions imposed by the Michigan Department of health and Human Services exceed nursing home guidance issued by the federal government.

“In counties in the state of Michigan that have spread rate that is at a certain level there is no visitation. In fact, even residents who are COVID positive at the end of life cannot have any visitors under the present guidance by Michigan.”

David Herbel is President and CEO of LeadingAge Michigan. He says the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths are down. And over the course of a year, there are Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety protocols in place along with elevated testing, antibiotic therapeutics and vaccines.

“Many of these seniors, of course, have done tremendous things in their lives and they’ve had some health complications, but that doesn’t mean they can’t determine the level of risk they’re willing to live with in order to see their families.”

Herbel says following the science includes input from gerontologist studying the impacts of isolation, depression and quality of life.

LeadingAge Michigan is launching a public awareness campaign called “Give Seniors a Say” aimed at supporting seniors’ rights.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.