Coronavirus Outbreak and Maine Nursing Home Liability

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.

Further, nursing homes should make sure that they clean, disinfect, and sanitize their facilities, especially areas that are frequently used. Finally, facilities should not allow sick workers to come into work until they are not contagious. Sick staff members can pose significant risks to their patients and are often the cause of these outbreaks.

For example, recently, a CDC report indicated that nursing home staff spread coronavirus to other nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Many staff members at the Seattle nursing home at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis worked at more than one facility in the state. The infected workers ranged from doctors, to nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, environmental hazard workers, and social workers. Some of these staff members continued to work, despite having fevers and other symptoms. The staff members have reported that they were not familiar with protocols in these situations and were unaware of how quickly and easily the virus could spread.

Has Your Loved One Suffered Injuries or Death Because of a Negligent Maine Nursing Home?

If you believe your parent or grandparent has suffered injuries because of the abuse, neglect, or negligence of a Maine nursing home or assisted-living facility, you should contact the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. The attorneys at our law firm understand how important it is to stop the spread of infections in our community to protect our vulnerable residents. Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are often complicated, and our attorneys have the skills and expertise to handle the challenges these cases pose. We have successfully recovered substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients. Contact our office at 800-804-2004 to discuss your situation.