The first large scale nursing home outbreak in Mississippi during the coronavirus pandemic struck a facility for veterans.
Testing confirms that the virus spread to many people from a single facility
The VA nursing home in Kosciusko was confirmed to have 19 residents and 12 employees who tested positive for COVID-19 in the beginning of May of 2020. This is in addition to other facilities across the state where nursing home patients and workers have gotten sick and died in some cases.
Public health officials in the state are concerned that nursing homes and similar long term care facilities may account for many of the state’s total coronavirus cases. This is especially concerning as the elderly and those with underlying health problems are most easily affected and even killed by the virus. However, Mississippi, like many other states around the country, is releasing few details to the public about exactly how many cases and deaths are tied to each facility. The state health department has been denying records requests by local media and simply saying that they are too busy at the moment to fulfill any kind of information requests.
Suspicions were initially raised in the Kosciusko home when two residents and one employee had received positive test results about a week earlier. The facility then performed approximately 250 tests in the following days to cover all residents and employees who enter the facility. The Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board confirmed that more than 30 positive results came back after this large battery of tests.
A resident of the home died in the first week of May, marking the first fatality, while the home administration was still awaiting test results from any other workers and patients. Other VA homes around the state, which are located in Jackson, Oxford, and Collins, seem to have avoided large outbreaks due to more thorough safety measures. The state VA nursing home system houses about 600 residents in total.
This particular outbreak seems to have been traced to one wing of the facility, but health officials are still waiting on the results of a full scale investigation.
Making sure a nursing home is accountable for its residents safety
Nursing homes are responsible for the health of their residents, which includes keeping them free from contagious diseases and other infections. Facilities that experience problems with residents suddenly becoming sick or dying may find themselves in civil court for neglect or abuse. The victim or their family can bring a case for monetary damages that are meant to cover healthcare costs and other forms of medical treatment.
Get help after mistreatment at a nursing home
There are attorneys who routinely work with victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. To speak with a local lawyer in the Jackson, Mississippi area, contact:
129B South President Street, Jackson, MS 39201