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Are Florida Nursing Homes Doing Enough to Protect Patients and Staff from Coronavirus?

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In a recently published article, it was indicated that 1,819 residents and employees at long-term care facilities throughout Florida have died after contracting Coronavirus. According to the article, this accounted for almost 53% of the Coronavirus deaths in the State of Florida. Hearing these statistics makes you question whether nursing homes and long-term care facilities are doing enough and whether they are acting quickly enough to identify patients and staff with the virus.  It was only very recently that they began routinely testing the staff at nursing homes and long-term facilities.  I understand they will test them every two weeks.  But, with the continued dramatic daily increase in the number of Coronavirus cases one must ask, is every two weeks frequent enough when we are dealing with our elderly population? And why were they not testing the staff this entire time?

Here in South Florida, one nursing home had 72 staff members and 169 residents test positive for Coronavirus! Residents of these nursing homes do not leave the facility and, according to state regulations, outside visitors are no longer permitted into these facilities. This would only mean the residents are contracting the virus from staff members or other residents!  While nursing homes and long-term care facilities have stated they are taking steps to “protect their residents,” the number of residents that are contracting Coronavirus say otherwise.  Are staff members provided with adequate PPE? Are they receiving training on infection control? Are they following the policies and procedures for infection control? Are the staff members being properly screened for the virus? And moreover, does the staff recognize the resident’s symptoms are consistent with Coronavirus?

I have received a significant number of phone calls from family members of residents in various nursing homes regarding their loved ones contracting Coronavirus.  One consistent theme that I have heard is the nursing home had no idea the resident was suffering from Coronavirus and it was only when they reached the hospital that they were tested and it was discovered the resident had contracted Coronavirus. This suggests the staff failed to identify the symptoms that the residents were experiencing as symptoms consistent with Coronavirus.

If you or someone you know has a relative who contracted Coronavirus in a nursing home, and you suspect the nursing home failed to follow their own policies and procedures and/or failed to follow the safety practices and guidance set forth by State and Federal agencies, you may have legal recourse.  Give us a call TODAY and we will set up a free consultation to discuss your nursing home negligence claims. You can reach our team of experienced attorneys at 305-371-3666.

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