As the days go on, people across the United States have become increasingly concerned about the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. The disease is thought to have originated in China and has quickly spread throughout the world. Maine’s Center for Disease Control Director has noted that there are about 30 confirmed cases and 12 presumed positive cases in the state. Although, in the majority of cases, the disease poses a relatively low risk of death, that is not the case for older adults. This is illustrated by how quickly the disease ravaged nursing home residents in Seattle. In some cases, it may be difficult to pinpoint precisely how transmission occurred, but in others, the negligence of a nursing home or their staff may be to blame for a resident’s disease or infection. A Maine nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can assist individuals in determining whether their long-term care facility or nursing home is responsible for their injuries.
Similar to other more commonly known viruses, coronavirus, is more likely to cause serious illness and death to individuals over the age of 65 or those that are immunocompromised. Recent research conducted by the CDC suggests that the fatality rate for individuals ages 60 to 69 is over 3.5%; for those ages 70 to 79, the rate of death if about 8%, and jumps to close to 15% for those 80 years or older. Further, those suffering from heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, and hypertension are at an increased risk of fatal complications.
Given this stark reality, nursing homes and assisted living facilities should abide by the CDC’s guidelines and recommendations to prevent the spread of disease. All of these facilities should have plans in place to prevent and control these viruses and infections from spreading to their residents. Moreover, they should have an emergency plan if an outbreak does occur. To minimize the risk of an outbreak, healthcare workers and staff at these facilities should follow basic hygiene habits. This includes thoroughly washing hands before and after providing care to a resident and wearing eye and face protection.