The New York Times reports that approximately one-third of all coronavirus deaths involved nursing home residents or nursing home staff. These figures are incredibly alarming because nursing home residents are often particularly vulnerable to the most devastating and deadly symptoms of the coronavirus. Families and loved ones are understandably concerned for their loved ones in nursing homes at this time. But what rights do you have if your loved one fell ill with the coronavirus while in a nursing home, and what rights do you have if your loved one passed away from the coronavirus in a nursing home? The Louthian Law Firm is a nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect law firm in Columbia, South Carolina that can investigate what your loved one’s nursing home did (and didn’t do) to prevent the spread of the virus. Our nursing home abuse law firm in Columbia, South Carolina can investigate whether staff levels were adequate to handle a COVID-19 outbreak, investigate whether staff adequately referred your loved one to more intensive medical care on time, and look at the practices your loved one’s nursing home had in place during the outbreak. Losing a loved one to COVID-19 can be devastating, especially if your loved one contracted the illness in a nursing home and you weren’t able to have contact with your family member. The nursing home abuse lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina at the Louthian Law Firm may be able to help you with your case.
Centers for Disease Control Recommendations for Nursing Home COVID-19 Preparedness
The Centers for Disease Control has issued several recommendations for how nursing homes can handle COVID-19 preparedness. For example, every nursing home should have on staff one person whose job is to manage COVID-19 preparation. What are some other steps that nursing homes can take to protect residents and staff?
- Mandatory use of face masks for staff; mandatory face masks to be used by residents when they leave their rooms.
- Visitation procedures that encourage video conferencing and phone calls, and protocols to prevent visitors from bringing the infection into the facility. Procedures like screening visitors for fever and asking visitors with symptoms to stay home should be in place.
- Nursing home staff should ask visitors to let the nursing home know if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of visiting the nursing home.
- Have a testing plan in place for COVID-19.
- Have a generous sick leave policy for nursing home staff and encourage staff to stay home if they are not feeling well.
- Develop a plan for what to do if there is a shortfall of staff due to illness.
- Make sure nursing home has proper PPE, hand sanitation, and equipment to handle illness and prevent infection.
- Have a plan in place for where to house residents who become sick with COVID-19 and a plan in place for caring for residents who get sick with the coronavirus.
- Have a plan in place regarding how family will be informed about outbreaks and illness among loved ones.
- Nursing home should have a place where COVID-19 patients can be treated, and a plan in place for referring sick patients for more intensive care when needed.
These are just some of the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines. The CDC has more extensive and detailed guidelines on its website. However, when it comes to what families can do to protect their loved ones, these guidelines above offer a good place to start. Families should see that the nursing home is requiring visitors, staff, and residents to cover their face. They should see strategies in place to prevent sick visitors from coming into the facility and see clear communication between visitors and staff about the risks of COVID-19. Finally, nursing homes have a responsibility to keep lines of communication open between family and staff regarding outbreaks and sickness in their loved ones.
If you are concerned about how your loved one’s nursing home is handling the coronavirus pandemic, you may have the option to take action. The Louthian Law Firm is a nursing home neglect law firm in Columbia, South Carolina that works with families who believe their loved ones might be at risk due to failures on the part of their nursing home to protect safety. Have questions? Reach out to our nursing home abuse lawyers today in Columbia, South Carolina.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents
In recent weeks, more families have been speaking up and taking action after losing a loved one to COVID-19 in a nursing home. If you or someone you love fell ill while in a nursing home or if you are still struggling to understand what happened in a recent COVID-19 outbreak in your loved one’s nursing facility, the Louthian Law Firm may be able to help. The Louthian Law Firm is a Columbia, South Carolina nursing home abuse law firm that can help your family seek justice and take action. Reach out to our lawyers today or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with a nursing home abuse law firm today.