COVID-19 Related Nursing Home Injury & Death Attorneys in Columbia, South Carolina
The first major COVID-19 outbreak in the US occurred in a long-term care facility in Kirkland, Washington in February 2020. And after dozens of residents in this facility died of the virus, it should have been clear to nursing facility operators throughout the country that strict measures needed to be taken in order to protect their residents.
Unfortunately, this did not happen in many cases, and tens of thousands of vulnerable and helpless seniors paid the price. In South Carolina, approximately one-third of all COVID-19 related deaths occurred in nursing facilities, and these facilities have been the subject of numerous complaints, many of which were lodged by employees who were afraid to speak up for fear of losing their job.
If you have a loved one that has died or become seriously ill because of a COVID-19 outbreak in a South Carolina nursing home, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Message us online or call our office today at 803-788-4370 for a free no obligation case assessment.
The attorneys at Peake and Fowler are available to review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. We are outraged at what has happened to our elderly loved ones because of failure of nursing homes to protect them during this pandemic, and we are committed to helping ensure that those who are responsible for this egregious conduct are held fully accountable.
Widespread Nursing Home Negligence during COVID-19
Nursing homes and long-term care centers have an obligation to take every reasonable precaution to keep their residents and frontline employees protected from exposure to COVID-19. This starts with having a facility that is adequately staffed with qualified personnel that are properly trained to handle this type of situation.
Even before the pandemic started, many nursing homes did not have the proper level of staffing in place. Aging demographics combined with labor shortages, industry consolidation, and an increase in the number of for-profit facilities has resulted in a substandard quality of care at many of these places in recent years, so when the COVID-19 outbreak hit, they were already behind the eight ball.
Overworked and highly stressed workers scrambled to try to get these outbreaks under control, often with little or no support from their superiors. Facilities failed to follow many of the CDC guidelines for nursing homes and long-term care facilities to prevent the spread of the virus, and this resulted in countless preventable fatalities.
Some of the most important CDC guidelines that need to be followed include:
- Optimal Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Staff should be using personal protective equipment such as N95 facemasks, face shields, gloves, and air purifying respirators whenever possible, and the facility should reach out to local health departments when they are low on supplies.
- Restrict Outside Access: The CDC instructs nursing facilities to restrict access to visitors, volunteers, and nonessential healthcare workers in order to keep the coronavirus out of facilities to the best of their ability.
- Screening of Residents and Workers: Residents and workers should be screened daily for symptoms of the virus, and now that there are plenty of tests available, they should also be tested daily. Workers and residents who are symptomatic and/or test positive should be quarantined for 14 days.
- Implementation of Measures to Prevent an Outbreak: Facilities should cancel any group activities or communal dining that could increase the chances of an outbreak. They should also enforce social distancing and make sure that everyone is wearing a cloth face covering whenever they leave their room.
- Effectively Manage Patients with Severe COVID Symptoms: Patients who are COVID positive and have severe symptoms should be monitored at least three times a day to determine if they require a higher level of medical care.
Contact Peake and Fowler to Find Out if You Have a COVID-19 Nursing Home Negligence Case
If your loved one was exposed to the coronavirus in a South Carolina nursing home and the facility failed to take proper steps to protect them, Peake and Fowler is here to help. Call our office today at 803-788-4370 or message us online for your free, no obligation consultation. We are ready to go to work for you!
Peake & Fowler Law Firm, P.A., is located in Columbia, SC and serves clients in and around Newberry, Lexington, Sumter, Allendale, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Bishopville, Florence, Blythewood, State Park, Eastover, Columbia, Elgin, Irmo, Hopkins, Ridgeway, Lugoff, Ballentine, West Columbia, Kershaw, Camden, Dusty Bend, and Richland County, Lexington County, Calhoun County, Orangeburg County, Sumter County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, Fairfield County, Lee County, Clarendon County and Florence County.