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COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes

Blog COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes

The novel coronavirus hit the US less than three months ago, creating disruptions to the lives of most Americans. This pandemic has hit nursing homes hard as stated by USA TODAY, who obtained information from state agencies that revealed that more than 3,000 nursing home residents have passed away because of the coronavirus. This data adds to the fear that many people have about the severity of COVID-19. Families with relatives in nursing home facilities are becoming increasingly worried about their loved ones during this continuing pandemic.

Failure to Maintain Safe Conditions

The coronavirus is especially impacting nursing home residents because of the errors committed by staff to maintain proper preventive measures, and the vulnerability of the residents. In the US, there are 15,600 nursing facilities, housing approximately 1.3 million people, and 75% of these homes have received at least one citation in the past three years.

Citations were issued for failure to monitor and control infections, which is worrisome because people put their loved ones in nursing homes to receive proper care. But it seems that this may not be what residents are receiving in the hands of the current staff. Failure to control the spread of diseases puts others’ lives at risk and could lead to death from COVID-19.

Rapid Spread

Although COVID-19 is highly contagious and people can be asymptomatic, staff at nursing homes could make some necessary changes to protect the residents in their care. Unsafe practices such as infrequent or absent hand washing, failing to change gloves, and not cleaning equipment after each resident was seen are possible reasons why the virus is impacting so many nursing home residences. If staff took the time to practice safety measures, then they could potentially decrease the number of people who are becoming infected with the virus, and ultimately dying because of it. Nursing homes must be more vigilant than ever to limit the spread of this deadly virus.

Insufficient Information

Based on data from 26 states’ nursing homes, 18,300 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with the vast majority being residents. However, this is not an accurate depiction of the severity of the issue because just under half of the states have not reported the number of confirmed cases at their facilities.

Inconsistency in reporting also results in an incorrect and low estimate of the severity of the pandemic’s impact on nursing homes. In Louisiana and Washington, it is a legal requirement to report confirmed cases of the virus to the state. Further, thirteen states have revealed that they were not tracking nursing home related deaths. Unfortunately, this means that many more residents have passed away as a result of COVID-19.

Call an Attorney Today

If you or a loved one is a resident at a nursing home that has confirmed cases of COVID-19, you may find it in your best interest to get tested given the lack of preventative measures that are occurring in many facilities. When staff does not change their gloves or wash their hands, they are negligently putting your life at risk. If you have witnessed unsanitary practices or suspect they are happening, you may find it in your best interest to contact a lawyer. Our legal team at Kopfler & Hermann has experience with nursing home abuse and may be able to assist you.

Unfortunately, a case of COVID-19 in a nursing home could lead to fatal injuries. If you have a relative who died because of the coronavirus, the surviving family may have a valid wrongful death claim for monetary compensation. The attorneys at Kopfler & Hermann could offer comfort during this painful time and help you get justice for your loved one. Call now to get started.