Long-term care facilities in the State of New Jersey, including nursing homes, account for a significant number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. The virus presents serious hazards, not only for nursing home residents (who are especially vulnerable because of their ages and health conditions), but also for nursing home staff members and employees who care for the residents.
Nursing homes are required to abide by various guidelines pertaining to infection control and prevention against COVID-19. When nursing homes fail to follow these guidelines with regard to COVID-19 exposure and treatment, the nursing home may be legally liable for negligently breaching its duty of care. If you suspect neglect on the part of nursing home staff, you should contact the New Jersey nursing home neglect lawyers at Leonard Legal Group as soon as possible.
How COVID-19 Spreads in New Jersey Nursing Homes
In recent months, scientists are learning more and more about how COVID-19 spreads from one person to another. In the nursing home setting, the main way that COVID-19 spreads is by way of respiratory droplets. When an individual who has been infected with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs, the droplets will transmit the virus and can spread to a surface or directly to a person. Moreover, if an individual inhales some of these particles, then he or she may become infected with the virus. Finally, if an item is contaminated with the virus, and a person touches the contaminated item, then he or she may also become infected with the virus.
In nursing homes, residents are elderly, confined in close quarters, share common areas with other individuals (including relatives, staff members, and other residents), and often have preexisting medical conditions. Consequently, they are especially susceptible and prone to acquiring COVID-19.
Steps that New Jersey Nursing Homes are Required to Take
There are certain actions that nursing homes in the State of New Jersey should take, in order to decrease the chances of nursing home residents and staff members acquiring the coronavirus and in order to prevent transmission of the virus. Those actions include all of the following:
- Making sure that resident visitation is limited to certain days and time periods
- Making sure that any visitors who come to the facility with respiratory symptoms or fever are not be admitted to the facility
- Making sure that visitors who are admitted to the nursing home are instructed on proper hygiene and wearing face masks at all times while they are present at the facility
- Canceling communal dining and activities for nursing home residents
- Making sure to screen staff members who work at multiple facilities prior to entering each facility
- Quarantining residents who are coming back from the hospital, prior to re-entering the nursing home setting
- Ensuring that staff members who are sick or who have symptoms quarantine at home for a significant period of time before returning to work at the nursing home
Speak with a New Jersey Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Today
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect, the knowledgeable legal team at Leonard Legal Group may be able to assist. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a New Jersey nursing home neglect attorney, please contact us online today.