COVID-19-Related Deaths Increase Dramatically in Florida Nursing Homes
Last month, Florida health officials released new data revealing that COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes across the state have reached alarming levels. In fact, the Florida Department of Health reported that deaths in long-term care facilities accounted for nearly 60 percent of the fatalities attributed to COVID-19 last week. While some of these deaths may have been unavoidable, a large number may be the result of inadequate health and safety procedures at these types of long-term care facilities. In these cases, injured parties or their loved ones could be entitled to damages compensating them for related losses. To learn more about filing a claim against the negligent nursing home or long-term care facility where you or a relative were diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact our COVID-19 exposure legal team today.
COVID-19 Nursing Home Emergency Measures
According to the report, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties accounted for approximately half of COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes and similar facilities in Florida. In an effort to reduce these numbers, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration stepped in and issued two new emergency rules that:
- Required long-term care facilities and nursing homes to grant the Florida Department of Health access to its records; and
- Mandated virus testing for all employees at state facilities.
Facilities that fail to comply with the new state rules face fines and the suspension of their operating licenses.
COVID-19 Testing Requirements in Florida Nursing Homes
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, in conjunction with the Department of Health, also recently deployed what are being referred to as rapid emergency support teams, to senior care centers across the state. These groups have been directed to use mobile testing labs that will enable medical professionals to test staff and residents at nursing home facilities across Florida, producing test results in as little as 45 minutes. The governor also ordered hospitals to test patients for COVID-19 before allowing them to be transferred to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, although many worry that the order has come too late, as thousands of residents and employees have already been exposed to the illness at hospitals and then transferred back to nursing homes.
Many facilities have also failed to implement the proper sanitization and social distancing procedures, putting residents and employees in danger of contracting COVID-19. In these cases, wronged residents could be entitled to compensation for related medical expenses and pain and suffering, and in tragic cases, wrongful death damages. However, filing this type of claim can be difficult, so if your loved one recently contracted COVID-19 in a nursing home, please contact our experienced attorneys to learn more about your legal options.
Call Today to Speak with a COVID-19 Exposure Lawyer
To speak with an experienced Florida coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure attorney about negligence committed by your loved one’s nursing home, please call Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 or complete one of our online contact forms today.