Since the coronavirus pandemic started, nursing homes have been a huge target for the virus. For one, the majority of community members within nursing homes are elderly people with pre-existing health conditions, which is the population that struggles the hardest by COVID-19. Additionally, nursing homes are typically rather close quarters, which makes for an easier time spreading the virus throughout residents and staff. Additionally, nursing homes and retirement communities have long struggled with infection control. Even before a global pandemic, nursing home staff have consistently failed to meet cleanliness and medical standards to keep disease and sickness from spreading across individuals within the nursing home.
Legislation Within Nursing Homes During COVID-19
The Trump Administration has passed some legislation regarding coronavirus in the context of nursing homes and retirement communities. The new regulations require that homes inform residents, families, and other representatives of COVID-19 cases within their facilities. They must also report these cases to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help with record keeping. This reporting system is critical to keeping residents, their families, and staff safe.
What to Do if a Loved One Tests Positive for COVID-19 and is in a Nursing Home
If you learn that an elderly loved one either test positive for COVID-19 or is in a facility with a reported case, it is likely that you’re feeling distressed. You should check to make sure that the facility is taking appropriate precautions following the positive test, whomever it may have come from. Many nursing homes are utilizing the clustering or “cohorting” technique, where they move residents to different floors or wings, away from the positive case, or cases, while they attempt to fight the virus.
Depending on the reaction of the nursing home to the positive, confirmed case of coronavirus, you may or may not be able to take legal action. If you can prove that the nursing home facility was negligent or did not take appropriate reporting measures, make sure you talk to an experienced attorney in your area, specifically one that specializes in a nursing home or elderly abuse cases.