Failure to Screen Staff for COVID-19
In any nursing home in Homestead, Coral Gables, or anywhere in South Florida, staff are one of the biggest COVID-19 risks for residents. While residents are generally isolated in the nursing home and can stay isolated, staff go home after their shifts. This means that staff can be exposed to COVID-19 at home, on public transit, and when out running errands. They can then bring the virus back to the nursing home, where it can infect and kill residents.
Staff may have family at home and anyone they come into contact with may have been exposed to COVID-19. If a staff member’s child, for example, went to a birthday party where a child had COVID-19 but wasn’t showing symptoms yet, that staff member may then get infected and may expose residents at the nursing home where they work to the virus before developing symptoms themselves.
Nursing home staff are also a risk because they work so closely with residents. They often have to be in close proximity to bathe and groom residents or to help them get around. This closeness can put vulnerable residents at greater risk of COVID-19 because staff and residents may be sharing the same air.Preventing COVID-19 Spread in South Florida Nursing Homes
Because staff can be a potential vulnerability when trying to eradicate COVID-19 in South Florida nursing homes, it’s important for nursing homes to carefully monitor staff members. Nursing homes can:
- Ask staff to self-report symptoms, such as coughing
- Monitor staff for fever and other symptoms regularly throughout the day
- Ask staff to stay home if they have symptoms or if they may have been exposed to COVID-19
- Contact trace by asking staff where they have exposed
- Post information about outbreaks in the city so staff know if they have been exposed
- Offer benefits which allow staff to afford to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19
- Ask staff to wear PPE when interacting with residents, even if they have no known COVID-19 exposure
When nursing homes fail to screen staff carefully for COVID-19, vulnerable residents are put at risk. Because of the average resident age and because of the tendency of nursing home residents to have pre-existing conditions, residents are especially at risk to complications of COVID-19. More than young people, elderly residents of nursing homes are more likely to develop pneumonia and are more likely to suffer fatality from COVID-19.
If a nursing home has failed to properly monitor staff and take other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they can be held liable if residents fall ill or pass away from the virus. If your loved one has suffered from COVID-19 and you believe that nursing homes negligence was the cause, speak with a personal injury attorney.
You can contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation. Our staff has six decades combined experience and would be pleased to offer a free, no obligation case consultation virtually so you can discuss your case with a Homestead nursing home and elder abuse attorney.