Nursing Homes Response To Covid-19 – Heroes Or Villains?

Nursing homes in the United States have been especially hard hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is not necessarily unexpected due to their residents often being elderly and having underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible to suffering severe cases of the virus. However, there are disturbing reports regarding nursing homes in the United States that have been irresponsible in infection control prevention and treatment that may have exposed residents to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and suffering more than they should have if the nursing homes had been adequately prepared and responsive to the needs of their residents.

For an untold number of nursing home residents, COVID-19 will be a death sentence that could have been avoided if the nursing homes had not put their profits over the needs of their residents. As of April 14, 2020, The New York Times reportedly had “identified more than 2,500 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the United States with coronavirus cases. More than 21,000 residents and staff members at those facilities have contracted the virus, and more than 3,800 have died.” Source

– In Indiana, about 15% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred at long-term care facilities. At one Indiana nursing home, at least 22 residents have died. “An IndyStar investigation published last month found that the quality of care and staffing in Indiana nursing homes ranks near the bottom nationally, despite the fact that the state receives hundreds of millions in extra federal aid to boost care.” Source

– In New York, 8,627 deaths had been attributed to COVID-19 by April 11, 2020, and the total for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut was over 10,000: “nearly 2,000 residents of nursing homes have died in the outbreak in the region, and thousands of other residents are sick.” Source

– As of April 10, 2020, more than half of New York’s 613 licensed nursing homes had reported coronavirus infections, with 4,630 total positive cases and 1,439 deaths. Source

– In New Jersey, nursing homes had been linked to 252 coronavirus-related deaths with more than 90 of them in a recent two-day period. As of April 11, 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak had affected at least 70 percent of New Jersey’s long-term care centers. Source

– In Pennsylvania, one nursing home had at least 42 of its 450 residents having tested positive for COVID-19, and three had died; 10 of the more than 300 workers at the nursing home had tested positive. Source

– In California: “The vast majority of skilled nursing facilities battling outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County have been cited in recent years for violating federal safety rules on preventing infections … 89% of facilities with the coronavirus had previous infection control violations that ranged from mishandling patients with highly contagious bacterial infections to not properly cleaning ventilators and other equipment.” Source

– In Washington state: “Introduction of COVID-19 into a long-term residential care facility in Washington resulted in cases among 81 residents, 34 staff members, and 14 visitors; 23 persons died. Limitations in effective infection control and prevention and staff members working in multiple facilities contributed to intra- and interfacility spread.” Source

– The Associated Press has been keeping its own running tally of nursing home COVID-19 deaths based on media reports and state health departments, and its recent tally showed at least 4,817 deaths, up from about 450 two weeks ago. Source

– The CDC reports that as of April 14, 2020, there have been a total of 605,390 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 24,582 deaths. The CDC’s counts include both confirmed and probable cases and deaths. At least 30% of the cases of COVID-19 have been in persons ages 65 and older. Source

– The CDC has stated: “Based on what we know now, those at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are: – People 65 years and older – People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility – People of all ages with underlying medical conditions. Source

– The CDC warns: “Given the high risk of spread once COVID-19 enters a nursing home, facilities must take immediate action to protect residents, families, and healthcare personnel (HCP) from severe infections, hospitalizations, and death. (emphasis in the original) Source

The CDC reports that “1 to 3 million serious infections occur every year” in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities in the United States. “Infections are a major cause of hospitalization and death; as many as 380,000 people die of the infections in LTCFs every year.” Source

“Even before the CONVID-19 virus refocused the nation’s attention on nursing homes, there were severe deficiencies in infection control.” Source

“Deficiencies related to infection control are the most common deficiency that nursing facilities report, followed by food sanitation (36%) and accident environment (34%). In Delaware, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and California, over half of facilities reported at least one deficiency related to infection control.” Source

“53% of [nursing] homes with the most nurses and aides — which CMS awards five stars for staffing on its Nursing Home Compare website — had been cited for infection-control violations in the past three years. But 65% of homes with the fewest staff — garnering only one star — were cited for the same type of failing” Source

“Nearly 10,000 [nursing] homes in the U.S. — almost two thirds of the total — fell short on at least one infection control measure over the past four years.” Source

If you or a loved one may have a nursing home COVID-19 claim in the United States, you should promptly contact 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.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 17th, 2020 at 5:26 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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