County Health Department says just over half of COVID-19 deaths were from nursing homes

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The Livingston County Health Department is clearing up numbers about the COVID-19 deaths in the community.

To date, the LCHD reports 417 confirmed cases, 138 probable cases, 27 confirmed and one probable death related to COVID-19. Of these deaths, the LCHD said 15 are directly related to Livingston County residents residing in long-term care (LTC) facilities within Livingston County.

The remaining deaths — 12 confirmed and one probable — were of residents who did not reside in a LTC facility in Livingston County.

Of the 417 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the community, LTC residents and staff make up 15 percent.

In a release, the county health department said “information presented on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 website can be misinterpreted because of how it is presented.”

“Recent articles published about this data presented misinformation about the accurate totals of deaths of Livingston County residents. Information included on the MDHSS LTC COVID-19 page presents a cumulative count of all cases and deaths within the facility, which includes Livingston County residents as well as some out-of-county residents who temporarily resided in a Livingston County LTC facility.

“Two LTC facilities set up isolation wings to isolate newly admitted residents identified as having COVID-19. The information below shows the current number of deaths at each facility.”

Residents in LTC facilities remain one of the highest-risk groups for experiencing serious complications from COVID-19. On June 15, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon released detailed information about recently executive Orders 2020-123 and 2020-108. Along with increased reporting requirements, LTC facilities are now required to test patients and staff on a regular basis to ensure cases are identified quickly to prevent further spread within the facility. LCHD is taking steps to work with LTC facilities to support them in complying with the new Executive Orders.

All residents are reminded that COVID-19 is still present in the community. Although daily cases remain low, LCHD encourages residents to continue practicing healthy habits. As residents increase summer activities and travel, they should take steps to protect themselves against COVID-19 including:

• Covering coughs and sneezes.
• Washing hands often.
• Practicing social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others.
• Wearing a cloth face covering, even while social distancing.
• Staying home when sick.
• Avoiding close contact sick people.
• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the LCHD website at www.lchd.org or the MDHHS COVID-19 page at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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