Local news for Iowa published a story regarding recommendations for coronavirus testing given by the White House.

Federal government wants nursing homes to be especially careful during the pandemic

The virus task force recommended that all patients and staff be tested within a period of two weeks, in order to attempt to control the pandemic. These recommendations are targeted at approximately 15,000 homes across the country. It was unknown why these recommendations were issued approximately two months after the pandemic began and not earlier. However, testing capacity has been a national problem. 

Many states have been attempting to test as many ill residents as possible and open up testing sites in heavily populated and convenient areas with drive thru services. However, most states have still been falling short of the number of tests that the CDC and White House recommend. Resources are also limited, as workers need to be quickly hired to run the testing sites and all relevant materials need to be provided so that they can conduct hundreds or thousands of tests daily. 

Vice President Mike Pence made a video conference call to all governors in the country to highlight the recommendations and urge compliance. Dr. Birx, who is also an important member of the coronavirus task force echoed his sentiments by saying that they “really believe” all one million nursing home residents around the country need to be tested within this short time frame.  

Despite these strong recommendations, nursing home administrators said they have been essentially powerless to stop the spread of the virus due to a lack of resources. It has also been notoriously difficult for them to identify employees or patients who may be asymptomatic spreaders within a facility. Many public health experts said that nursing homes should have been a priority from the start of the pandemic, especially considering the history of problems such facilities have had in recent years. Many of the country’s virus related deaths have already happened in nursing homes among vulnerable patients. 

Nursing homes may be liable for injury and death

If a nursing home has clearly been negligent and allowed a resident to become seriously ill or die due to neglect or abuse, they can be served with a civil lawsuit. This will allow the victim or their family to recover losses for medical treatment and other problems. Some judges may even allow awards of punitive damages, which are meant to punish the facility if they have engaged in behavior that is exceptionally problematic. 

Speak with a lawyer in your state

There are attorneys who focus on nursing home incidents and other types of accidents in Iowa, to learn more about their services, contact:

Eells and Tronvold Law Offices

1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400 

319-393-1020

www.eellsandtronvold.com

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