Georgia leaders are concerned about exposure of coronavirus in nursing homes where they have found at least one confirmed case in each of six facilities in the state. Slowing down the disease spread has become a priority and the Georgia Department of Health states the nursing homes are located in Savannah, Statesboro, Metter, Claxton, and Sylvania. Further reports reveal a coronavirus outbreak in another Georgia nursing home where 10 people died inside a facility in Athens.

Reducing disease spread.

Governor Kemp has deployed the Georgia National Guard to long-term care facilities across the state to assist in thorough cleaning measures as part of Georgia’s response to Coronavirus in nursing homes. Nursing home residents are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their age, weakened immune systems and chronic health conditions allowing the disease to grow and spread, increasing the possibility of death.  Nursing home administrators should have isolation precaution protocols in place to include the ability to minimize crowds in common areas with shared resources, including staff members and equipment. COVID-19 has most recently evolved from a virus spread in certain species of animals to a virus that can take host in humans and spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact between people.

Duty of care.

A duty of care is owed to Georgia nursing home residents in accordance with state and federal laws defining nursing home abuse as acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions or place residents in danger. Deviations from facility cleanliness, staff hygiene and administrative infectious disease protocols can be considered breaches in professional standards of care and might be considered acts of unintentional negligence. Compensation may be available to individuals or loved ones when a resident has suffered injury, or death from COVID-19 due to mishandling of infectious disease protocols, or allowing sustained exposure to sick residents. Contact a Georgia personal injury attorney who specializes in nursing home laws.

 Wrongful death.

Wrongful death actions in Georgia can be filed when a person’s death is directly caused by neglect, or carelessness by another individual and must be proven. Infection control in nursing facilities is governed by the Department of Health and Human Services through state and federal laws and outlines situations when infected residents should be isolated away from healthy residents.  The timeframe for filing a wrongful death claim in Georgia is two years from the date of a person’s death, with reasonable support that a named defendant’s negligence, or intentional action played a role in causing the death. An experienced attorney can assist with determinations of legal action based on the individual case.

 

Sources.

 

Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) of 1987

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