As of June 16, 2020, Duval County, Florida (Jacksonville), has had 59 deaths due to the coronavirus. In all, there have been 2194 people diagnosed in Jacksonville with Covid. Tragically, one Jacksonville nursing home has accounted for 30% of the Covid deaths in the county, which translates to 18 people. That nursing home, Signature Healthcare of Jacksonville, is located at 2061 Hyde Park Road, Jacksonville, FL, 32210.
While nursing homes may represent one of the most challenging environments for dealing with the coronavirus, nursing home operators must respond accordingly. It is simply not satisfactory for a nursing home to claim that the situation is difficult and that, as a result, it is not responsible for failing to appropriately respond to the virus. Our Jacksonville nursing home abuse attorneys have handled many claims against local nursing homes for failing to prevent or treat infections and we have seen many egregious situations.
The US Centers for Disease Control has issued guidelines for nursing homes dealing with coronavirus concerns. Among the CDC’s “core practices” are the following: 1. assign at least one person with training in infection control to provide on-site management of the facility’s infection protection and control program; 2. report Covid cases to the national database on a weekly basis; 3. educate all residents, staff and other persons entering the facility about the precautions; 4. implement source control measures (all heathcare providers should wear facemasks and residents should wear masks when leaving their rooms); 5. have a plan for visitor restrictions; 6. create a plan for testing residents and health care providers; 7. manage healthcare personnel (sick leave policies, excluding non-essential personnel, and screening employees for infection by taking temperatures); 8. provide sufficient supplies of hand sanitizer, masks and personal protective equipment; 9. segregate a space in the facility for caring for residents with covid; 10. create a plan for dealing with the admission of new residents whose Covid status is unknown; and 11. evaluate and manage residents with Covid.
Some nursing homes will respond better than others to the coronavirus. We have a feeling we already know which ones are going to do the worst, and, frankly, that is a shame. Most often when we see neglect, we find out that the nursing home was understaffed. Understaffing in nursing homes will only make coronavirus all the more deadly as overworked nurses and assistants try to juggle more than they can handle. Continue reading