The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a revised set of guidelines for nursing homes in early July, regarding testing for COVID-19, including the testing goal they need to hit to reopen homes to visitors. It might be wise to contact your loved-one’s nursing home to ensure they are following the guidelines and to see where they are in the process…
Daily Check of Symptoms
The CDC does not recommend daily COVID testing for nursing home residents, but they are recommending that residents be screened to see if testing is warranted. This should include daily temperature checks and meeting with residents to ask if they have any symptoms. Respiratory issues (coughing, etc.) and fever are not the only symptoms they should be checking for. The full list of symptoms from the CDC include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Testing any residents who have contacted someone with COVID-19
Even if the resident has no symptoms (i.e., asymptomatic), but they have come into possible contact with someone who is positive for COVID, the nursing home should test that resident for COVID-19. This could be an infected staff member who interacts with the resident, a roommate with COVID, or if there is an outbreak of the virus. The CDC defines an outbreak as a SINGLE new case of COVID-19 in the facility. Because if that one new person has the virus, it is likely they contacted and potentially infected others while they were asymptomatic.
Facility-wide testing before relaxing restrictions
Before reopening can occur, which would involve relaxing the visitor restrictions set to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, the CDC recommends that the nursing home test every non-positive resident first to establish a baseline. They recommend that the test be repeated every 3 to 7 days for these residents. The CDC only gives the green light to consider reopening of the facility to visitors if the nursing home shows 14 consecutive days without a new case of COVID-19.
Our attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC focus on representing nursing home residents who have been neglected or abused. We know first-hand how these facilities function, and just how vulnerable residents are to injuries. If you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, we invite you to contact our team as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options.