As the Rescue Ministries of MidMichigan has reported new COVID-19 cases, the Saginaw County Health Department is looking at how the pandemic has affected long term care and other congregate care facilities.
Chris Harrington, the department’s Health Officer, says those facilities were hit hard during the pandemic, accounting nearly 70 percent of all deaths in Saginaw County during the month of April. Testing was a challenge, she says, as was staffing during the pandemic, which can be a challenge in normal times as places like nursing homes struggle with resources and personnel.
However, since April, Saginaw County has seen a 50 percent reduction in deaths in congregate care settings. In May, the number of deaths in those facilities accounted for 34 percent of all deaths in the county. This is due to an increase in testing and resources.
Harrington points out, while COVID-19 deaths are more prevalent among the elderly, anyone can contract the disease. The highest increase among the Saginaw County population is in individuals ages 20-29.
The department will release an update COVID-19 count, including those from the Women’s Emergency Shelter, as soon as possible as they work out some technical issues..