COVID-19 Nursing Home Claims
Because it is well known that the Coronavirus is both highly infectious as well as very impactful to older persons, especially those with certain pre-conditions, nursing homes have been hard hit by this pandemic.
The question of whether a nursing home was negligent or not should one of their residents contract the virus and die from it is dependent upon a number of factors. The main question that would need to be investigated include what protocols did the nursing home implement and when did they do so? Were the rules put into place reasonable at the time given what was known about the virus? Did the nursing home follow its own policies? Should the nursing home have adopted newer policies at certain points in time as more knowledge about this threat were revealed. The analysis will depend upon many different things and will be fact-driven and unique to each case.
Nursing homes are always required to adhere to state and federal laws regarding the treatment of residents, which includes creating a safe, healthy environment. The CDC has provided nursing homes various instructions for how to create procedures to combat the spread of Covid-19 and also for what should be contained in their procedures. Their advice is amended over time as more information is known.
These can be found here: instructions for long-term care facilities and COVID-19
Nursing Home Policies
Examples of some of the recommendations are for nursing homes to:
- Educate their employees about Covid-19 and ways to combat its spread;
- Provide more resources including personal protective equipment;
- Alter or cancel visitation;
- Enhance Covid-19 screening of staff and residents;
- Separate residents; including what to do if someone tests positive for the virus.
All aspects of the nursing home’s acts and omissions have to be considered in the case of Covid-19. Negligence will be established based upon a comprehensive review of the patterns and practices of the facility in the context of an evolving threat to its residents.
Safety First – A Reminder
The world is nearing the figure of 1 million casualties from Covid-19, and the number of infected is not tapering off as was predicted by epidemiologists looking at the data from China.
Protection and prevention take priority, especially in facilities housing elderly people who are at the highest risk of fatality from the effects of the virus.
As a reminder to all residents of nursing homes, and all caretakers in the industry, we’d like to remind that global empyrical evidence out that the best way to protect yourself and others includes the following:
- For washing hands, use soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after food preparation restroom use, providing any type of care, or coming in contact with any public space surface. Wash hands frequently!
- Use the bend of your elbow or a disposable tissue when sneezing, and avoid crowded places whenever possible.
- Keep your hands away from your face! When you do wash your hands, wash your face as well, thoroughly.
- Within the nursing home, clean touched surfaces often, including mobility and medical equipment such as walkers, canes, and handrails.
When to Call a Lawyer
If you have lost a love one in a nursing home due to Covid-19, Wiener and Lambka, PS is well-equipped to undertake the comprehensive review needed to determine whether or not the home breached the standard of care in your matter. Our reviews are performed free of charge. Please contact us for a consultation here.