By now you’re probably aware that a new and deadly strain of coronavirus (also called COVID-19) is causing global concerns of a pandemic. But did you know that the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus invasion is a nursing home? Of the nineteen COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., at least fourteen were residents of the same Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington (as of March 8, 2020). Several other people with ties to the facility, including residents, staff members, and visitors, have contracted the virus, and more are awaiting tests.
Viruses, like the flu, hit the elderly the hardest, and COVID-19 is no exception. Nursing homes are a perfect storm for a COVID-19 outbreak: a population of people with weakened immune systems and other risk factors (e.g., diabetes), living in close quarters with many requiring regular intimate contact to help them with daily activities. When you factor in the fact that many of the 15,600 nursing home facilities in the U.S. lack adequate funding, staffing, and supervision, the risk for a spread is even greater.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, here are five key questions you might want to ask:
- What testing is being performed on residents and staff?
- What education is being given to residents and staff to reduce the chance of transference?
- Has more frequent cleaning of the facility been authorized?
- What precautions are being taken with visitations from friends and family and other social events?
- If the virus is found at the facility, what happens next?
By asking these questions and staying informed about the risks, you may not be able to prevent coronavirus spread – but you could be empowered to seek out alternatives for your loved ones and even pursue legal action in cases of negligence. At Brown & Barron, LLC, our nursing home abuse lawyers are committed to helping victims of negligence and elder abuse at facilities across Maryland. If you come to believe that a lack of proper cleaning, staff training, or medical care has contributed to your loved one’s injuries in a nursing home, you may be eligible to file a claim.
For more information, contact our team at (410) 698-1717 today and schedule a free consultation. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.