Florida Coronavirus Attorney
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 will test conditions of our nursing home facilities in Florida & The Treasure Coast
Until the Coronavirus epidemic slows, and until doctors and the government get a handle on testing for it, you should not visit your loved one who is in a nursing home. Here’s why:
- If you have symptoms, a cough, fever, or think it’s just a cold, better safe than sorry. Spreading a virus in a nursing home environment is ridiculously easy to do, and it could sweep the residents like the Angel of Death.
- Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you should know that you could be contagious before symptoms show up. You could be contagious and not know it.
Maybe, if your loved one has a cell phone, the staff would (and should) cooperate with you to FaceTime your loved one until this outbreak is over.
I would suggest that nursing homes adopt this policy of restricting visitors and ALSO to check every visitor for fever, cough, or other symptoms before allowing them to visit.
Not only will this help protect your loved ones, but it will also help protect the other residents and the staff.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should find out if that facility is following the new guidelines from the Center for Disease Control regarding Coronavirus, including:
- Limit visitors to the facility
- Post visual alerts (signs, posters) at entrances and in strategic places providing instruction on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette
- Ensure supplies are available (tissues, waste receptacles, alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
- Take steps to prevent known or suspected COVID-19 patients from exposing other patients
- Limit the movement of COVID-19 patients (e.g., have them remain in their room)
- Identify dedicated staff to care for COVID-19 patients.
- Observe newly arriving patients/residents for the development of respiratory symptoms
- Because of the ease of spread in a long-term care setting and the severity of illness that occurs in residents with COVID-19, facilities should discourage visitation and begin screening visitors even before COVID-19 is identified in their community. Facilities should:
Send letters or emails to families advising them to consider postponing or using alternative methods for visitation (e.g., video conferencing) during the next several months.
Post signs at the entrances to the facility instructing visitors to not enter if they have fever or symptoms of a respiratory infection. Consider having visitors sign visitor logs in case contact tracing becomes necessary.
Ask all visitors about fever or symptoms of respiratory infection. Restrict anyone with:
Fever or symptoms of respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath).
International travel within the last 14 days to affected countries. Information on high-risk countries is available on CDC’s COVID-19 travel website.
Contact with an individual with COVID-19.
When allowed, visitors should be encouraged to frequently perform hand hygiene and limit their movement and interactions with others in the facility (e.g., confine themselves to the resident’s room).
When visitor restrictions are implemented, the facility should facilitate remote communication between the resident and visitors (e.g., video-call applications on cell phones or tablets), and have policies addressing when and how visitors might still be allowed to enter the facility (e.g., end of life situations).