The Maryland State Health Department confirmed that the novel coronavirus, called COVID-19 by the medical community, has infiltrated a nursing home in Howard County. The infected woman is an 82-year-old resident of the Lorien Elkridge nursing home in Elkridge, Maryland. The woman is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 infection in Howard County. She is currently being hospitalized, and it is believed that she had only limited contact with other residents. It is not yet known how she contracted the virus.
Although COVID-19 presents a serious health risk to all age groups, the highest mortality rates are associated with the elderly. Nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to the spread and mortality of viruses, due to the concentration of elderly people with weakened immune systems and the frequent social contact of residents. The first outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States occurred at the Life Care Center nursing home in Seattle, Washington, and nearly all of the 30-plus deaths in the state are associated with the facility.
As awareness rose of COVID-19 and its danger to nursing homes, facilities across the country implemented self-imposed measures to prevent the introduction or spread of the virus. State and local mandates followed. On March 11, Governor Larry Hogan announced tight restrictions on non-essential visitation for nursing homes in Maryland.
As of March 16, the Maryland Department of Health website reports 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection.
The attorneys at Brown & Barron specialize in 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 learn more about how the coronavirus is affecting Nursing Homes and their residents, visit our Coronavirus Update blog. Also, if you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, call our team today at (410) 698-1717 to learn more about your rights and options.