Lansing — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration moved Wednesday to select centers under stricter guidelines to help care for elderly individuals with COVID-19, altering a policy that’s drawn criticism during the pandemic. 

Whitmer’s office announced an executive order Wednesday evening establishing what it called “care and recovery centers.” Whitmer’s administration made the changes five months after initially signing an executive order establishing “regional hubs.” 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Photo: Paul Sancya, AP)

The regional centers — wings, units or buildings located in existing nursing homes across the state — will have to meet additional safety and preparedness standards compared to the state’s past regional hubs, which were put in place at the height of the pandemic to care for individuals discharged from hospitals or residing in facilities that couldn’t properly isolate them.

Existing regional hubs could potentially qualify as new “care and recovery centers,” also known as CRCs.

“With more