Outbreaks of coronavirus in Maryland nursing homes account for 19% of Maryland’s total positive cases and 46% of Maryland’s COVID-19 deaths. Cases of COVID-19 have been detected in residents and/or staff at more than 130 nursing homes in Maryland.
On April 29, 2020, Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan, announced his Order Number 20-04-29-01 “requiring each Nursing Home to: i. increase testing of residents and staff for COVID-19; ii. ensure that each resident is evaluated at least daily by a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse for symptoms suggesting possible COVID-19 infection; iii. develop a surge staffing plan to ensure continuity of resident care in the event of a significant outbreak of COVID-19 among residents or staff; iv. fully cooperate with any Response Team, including without limitation, by providing access to the Nursing Home, its residents, and its staff; v. provide periodic informational updates to their residents, resident representatives, and staff regarding COVID-19 infections related to the Nursing Home; vi. regularly report to CRISP and the applicable local health department such information as the Secretary deems necessary to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in and around Nursing Homes.”
The new directives require universal testing of all residents and staff at all Maryland nursing homes, regardless of whether they are symptomatic. Nursing homes will be prioritized based on an imminent outbreak or a current rising threat risk, and any staff who test positive will be immediately discharged into isolation.
The new directives require the development of surge staffing plans to ensure continuity of care in the event of an outbreak. To aid in this effort, Maryland is supplementing strike teams with new bridge teams, which will provide emergency clinical staffing to nursing homes that are experiencing a staffing crisis. Each bridge team is composed of a registered nurse and 5-7 aides, sufficient to care for up to 100 skilled nursing home residents per shift. Maryland bridge teams include 260 registered nurses and aides who are currently under contract with MDH through an arrangement with Allegis and the Maryland Hospital Association.
Governor Hogan appointed the State Surgeon of the Maryland National Guard to serve as an Emergency Safety and Compliance Officer for nursing homes to ensure that the Maryland nursing homes are complying with state law and safety protocols.
In announcing the new directives, Governor Hogan stated, “We are no longer just playing defense—we are going on offense against this virus, attacking from every angle with everything we’ve got. We are exponentially expanding our testing capacity, enabling us to attack the most acute outbreaks, clusters, and hotspots, including nursing homes, and to provide additional testing for our healthcare workers and first responders.”
If you or a loved one may have a nursing home COVID-19 claim in Maryland or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly contact a Maryland COVID-19 nursing home lawyer, or a COVID-19 nursing home lawyer in your state, who may investigate your COVID-19 nursing home claim for you and represent you and/or your loved one in a COVID-19 nursing home case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find COVID-19 claim attorneys in your U.S. state who may assist you.
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