Articles Posted in Coronavirus

SteinbergCOVID19

Identifying At-Risk Older Adult Populations, Coronavirus

As the country is wrapped in a global pandemic never witnessed before by many, it’s important to make predictions about which groups of people will be most affected by coronavirus, or COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that older adults carry the characteristics that put them at greater risk of illness and death related to the virus. These adults may have limitations which impair their ability to respond to an infectious disease or emergency, such as:

  • Disabilities that have impaired their mobility

protect loved ones from coronavirus

CMS Says U.S. Nursing Homes Should No Longer Allow ‘Most’ Visitors

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma joined President Trump’s news conference on coronavirus on March 13 in the Rose Garden, where he declared a national emergency. Verma announced that guidance will be coming for U.S. nursing homes about harsher visitor restrictions. She also said the new restrictions now include “all visitors and non-essential personnel, with few exceptions, such as end-of-life situations.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that visitors and healthcare personnel are the most likely sources of introduction of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus strain, into a long-term care facility. Many facilities in Illinois have already imposed their own harsh visitor rules in hopes of slowing the spread of the fatal virus that is responsible for the death of 22 residents of a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington as of Wednesday, March 11.

my relative has coronavirus

Federal Agencies Restrict Nursing Home Visitor Access as Coronavirus Spreads

As of March 10, 2020, there are now more than 1,000 cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S., according to the state and local health agencies, governments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nineteen individuals in Illinois have tested positive for COVID-19. The highly contagious disease which puts the elderly and those with underlying health conditions into respiratory distress, has businesses, schools, and health agencies on heightened alert. Nursing homes especially have been called upon to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Stricter guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH), and the Illinois Health Care Association is rapidly increasing for these facilities.

The most recent updated federal nursing home guidance comes from a memo delivered on March 9, by CMS, the agency in charge of regulating and enforcing care standards for the nation’s long-term care network.

Steve Levin

A message from Attorney Steven Levin

I have a loved one in a nursing home and I’m concerned about COVID-19 exposure. What should I do?

The first step is to call the director of nursing at your family member’s facility and ask about the steps they are taking to protect residents and staff. By this point, all facilities should have a written policy and action plan available for distribution. If your facility does not, request that they create it as soon as possible, and follow up until they do. Facilities should already be following longstanding CDC guidelines for infection prevention. Here are some questions that can guide your inquiry into whether they currently comply with the rules: https://www.cdc.gov/longtermcare/pdfs/factsheet-core-elements-10-infection-prevention-questions.pdf

Nursing Homes Already Have Infection Control Problems, Preventing Coronavirus Before It Spreads Will Be Another
Although nursing homes are equipped with infection control recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and required to follow them by state and local health agencies – they simply are not. USA TODAY is reporting that “75% of U.S. nursing homes have been cited for failing to properly monitor and control infections in the last three years — a higher proportion than previously known.” These failures, often controlled by understaffed shifts, overworked caregivers, and less than 10% of facilities with infection-control specialty trained staff, all provide proof to predict that nursing homes are going to have even a tougher time preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Steven Levin, founding partner and attorney at Levin & Perconti, recently spoke to USA TODAY on the dangerous yet stagnant issue of the spread of infectious disease in nursing homes, remarking that, “The nursing homes that we deal with have extreme difficulty in handling everyday infections, and it’s an infection-rich environment.”

Read the USA TODAY article titled, Coronavirus a concern in nursing homes, where 75% have been cited for infection control errors, here.

Steve Levin

A message from Attorney Steven Levin

By now it seems self-evident that the nursing homes and assisted living centers housing many of our elderly and most vulnerable citizens are uniquely susceptible to outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

We know that the disease is particularly dangerous for older people. We understand intuitively that a site where older people — some of whom cycle in and out of hospitals, bringing germs back and forth — live in close quarters, with shared spaces and resources, faces heightened risk for infection and contagion.

Coronavirus Outbreak Reported at U.S. Nursing Home

Coronavirus Outbreak Prompts Long-Term Care Facilities to Follow Updated Infectious Disease Guidelines, Provide Stay Well Tips for Staff, Residents, and Visitors

Managing the care of more than 2.2 million people living in U.S. long-term care settings, many with underlying health complications, without the spread of rapidly growing pathogens, is difficult and can cause severe complications to residents. And during a viral outbreak, such as the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19), nursing homes will become even more challenged. The new virus is thought to spread primarily via droplets in the air, similar to other respiratory viruses, such as influenza, and has been identified in more than 85,000 people worldwide and led to nearly 3,000 deaths, said officials from the World Health Organization.

Unfortunately, an outbreak of the novel contagious illness has become known at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, near Seattle. The event has left four residents dead and many others – including care staff – hospitalized. Also, of the nursing home’s 108 residents and 180 staff members, more than 50 have shown signs of possible COVID-19 infections, officials said. In Illinois, the coronavirus disease should be especially worrisome for nursing homes. In the final state inspection report of 2019, more than 100 facilities were cited for various violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

preparation for coronavirusAre Illinois Nursing Homes Prepared to Prevent Coronavirus from Spreading?

Sicknesses can quickly spread when people are in closer proximity because viruses loom in the air and on surfaces that are touched and shared. Nursing home residents are often enclosed within shared spaces for eating, socializing and living, making the facilities home to several highly contagious viruses. As U.S. cases of the Wuhan Coronavirus continue to rise, including an elderly couple from Chicago, Illinois, nursing homes should be well-informed and prepared to handle a potential case of an infectious disease outbreak related to the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness.

As of February 5, 2020, the facts about Coronavirus according to news sources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

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