With The New York Times reporting that nursing homes account for one-third of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., it is clear that older adults at long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. According to the report, at least 25,600 nursing home residents and workers died from COVID-19 during the pandemic. Moreover, more than 143,000 residents and workers have been infected at some 7,500 facilities across the nation.
COVID-19 in Kentucky’s Nursing Homes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that older adults are at higher risk for severe illness, complications, and death from coronavirus. Since older people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than other age groups, nursing homes and long-term care families must carefully review their policies and take extra precautions to minimize the risk of infection. In the past two months, coronavirus outbreaks occurred in multiple nursing homes throughout Kentucky. In fact, the Courier-Journal reported that nearly 80 long-term care facilities across Kentucky have confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of May 6. State officials reported that over 840 residents and nearly 350 nursing home workers at some 78 facilities have tested positive. In Kentucky, 160 people died in those facilities, including two employees. Despite the CDC’s guidelines for nursing homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, coronavirus continues to infiltrate long-term care facilities across the country, killing their residents – the most vulnerable group of people – at an alarming rate.
Lawsuits against Nursing Homes for Coronavirus
Is it possible to sue a nursing home if your parent or grandparent becomes infected at the facility or dies from coronavirus? Typically, you may be able to sue a facility for its failure to protect residents from harm. Nursing homes must follow safety protocols and adopt precautionary measures to minimize the risk of exposure and prevent the virus from infiltrating the facility in the first place. Unfortunately, many nursing homes throughout the country were unprepared for a pandemic of this magnitude. A report by The Lexington-Herald indicates that many nursing homes in Kentucky failed at infection control and prevention for years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit them. Given the high contagiousness of coronavirus, the virus has the potential to spread at a facility from an infected worker to a resident, and vice versa.
Can You Sue a Kentucky Nursing Home for COVID-19?
You may be able to sue a long-term care facility for COVID-19 infections if it fails to take any of the following precautionary measures, which have been recommended by the CDC:
- All staff members must wear personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Workers must practice proper hand hygiene;
- The nursing home must restrict visits with infected patients or outsiders;
- The facility must prevent its sick workers from interacting with residents;
- The nursing home must rearrange resident beds to separate sick residents;
- All workers must use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when appropriate; and
- The facility must review and improve its contact isolation procedures.
If the long-term care facility violates any of the above-mentioned or others guidelines or was in any other way negligent or careless and caused your loved one to contract COVID-19 or even die from the disease, speak with a nursing home neglect attorney. Contact Roberts Law Office for an evaluation of your case. Call at (859) 231-0202 today.