The state of Michigan would be required to develop dedicated facilities to care for COVID-19-positive patients who are ineligible for admission at a nursing home, hospital or adult foster care facility under a proposed measure. 

Michigan state senators passed SB 956 (24-13) Wednesday. The measure would also require the state to set up the facilities in eight different healthcare regions. The state would have to set up the facilities set by Sept. 15, 2020. 

The proposed measure is in direct response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) previous — and controversial — policy that forced some nursing homes to take in coronavirus patients as long as the facility isolated them. 

“I’m still appalled that this happened,” bill sponsor Sen. Peter Lucido said. “For some yet unknown reason, state officials made these decisions to bring COVID-19 patients into facilities with disastrous results.”

The proposed measure also specifies that an individual cannot be admitted or retain care in a nursing home if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19 unless they have recovered, or the nursing home is able to provide a designated area and prove they can care for that person. The state would also have to approve if the nursing home can properly care for the resident before they are admitted. 

The measure has since been referred to the Michigan House’s Committee on Health Policy for review.