Report: Florida’s Nursing Homes Face “Category 5 Emergency”
Over the last several weeks, Florida has been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus. The resurgence in cases has been steep: The Florida Department of Health has confirmed 369,834 positive tests as of July 21st. Public safety groups and industry experts are now sounding the alarm that Florida’s nursing home residents are at risk.
According to a report from the Miami Herald, LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan is warning that Florida’s recent jump in COVID-19 cases is a potential “category five level emergency” for the state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Here, our Miami nursing home abuse lawyers highlight the risks highlighted in the article.
Four Reasons Why Insiders are Worried About COVID-19 and Florida Nursing Homes
- Nursing Home Residents are Extremely Vulnerable
While we all need to take safety precautions, COVID-19 does not pose the same level of risk for everyone. Older people and immunocompromised are at a very high risk of developing life-threatening complications from the virus. Nearly half of COVID-19 deaths are happening in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. States such as New York and New Jersey have previously seen horrific virus outbreaks in nursing homes. When the virus gets into an assisted living facility, it can spread with intense speed.
- Vendors and Employees May Inadvertently Spread the Virus
Since March, Florida regulators have restricted outside visitors to most of the state’s nursing homes. It has been a very important step that has helped to radically slow the transmission of COVID-19 in our most vulnerable communities. Nonetheless, some spread of the virus still happens. State authorities believe that nursing home infections occur because of inadvertent spread from employees and vendors. With so much community spread happening, there is a higher risk that the virus will penetrate nursing homes.
- COVID-19 Testing is Still Inadequate
In the letter, the nursing home industry CEO notes that COVID-19 testing is still inadequate. Although there have been major strides and many more tests are being conducted per day, the demand still outstrips the supply. More testing at Florida’s nursing homes would help to limit the risks posed by the virus.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supplies are Strained
Assisted living and long-term care facilities must protect their residents and their employees. Finally, nursing home advocates are raising concerns about the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). The supplies are strained and prices are elevated. Many nursing home managers report that they are working desperately to preserve as much PPE as possible.
Contact Our Miami Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys for Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida nursing home abuse lawyers are compassionate and effective advocates for residents and their families. We have experience handling the full range of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect claims. For a free, completely confidential initial consultation, please call us now. We represent nursing home abuse victims throughout South Florida, including in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens, and Hialeah.