Louisiana was dealing with the possibility of increased coronavirus infections in nursing homes due to staff members’ vulnerability to the virus. 

Nursing home employees refusing tests poses a huge infection risk

As nursing homes throughout Louisiana were dealing with thousands of coronavirus infections, data which emerged that showed many staff members and residents had refused tests in the prior weeks. Many of these issues stem from the fact that residents and staff can actually refuse to be tested, despite the fact that the governor has ordered mandatory periodic testing within every nursing home in the state. Even though a home is required to make testing available otherwise face financial penalties, individual people inside of the facilities have a choice whether they want to be tested. 

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, almost every resident throughout the state had been tested at least once since the pandemic began. However, there is more concern that people working in these facilities do not want to be subjected to mandatory tests. Records for the state’s approximately 24,000 nursing home residents shows that just about all of them have been tested regularly over the past several months.  

By the end of July 2020, approximately 700 employees had yet to be tested and apparently refused the available resources at their places of employment. While this number is a small percentage of the approximately 30,000 people who work at nursing homes in the state, several hundred undetected infections can be a disaster if these people spread the coronavirus to elderly and vulnerable residents inside. Even though the homes were closed to visitors as a precaution, employees are still freely associating with anyone while they are outside of their working hours. 

The early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic had already been deadly to nursing home residents and workers. Over 1600 nursing home residents had died at the time of publication, which represents about 40% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the state. New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Monroe all represent potential outbreak areas, as these are some of the largest cities in the state, and yet they also represent where the largest portion of workers who have refused to take any tests. 

In June, the governor had passed more severe guidelines related to testing, saying that homes which did not comply could lose their medicaid funding or be subjected to other severe financial penalties. The department of health claims that when these guidelines were initially passed, they believed that everyone would comply, and they would not see issues with refusals.

Learn more about civil lawsuits and compensation

You can talk with a lawyer to get more information about lawsuits against nursing homes and assisting living facilities. To talk to a professional attorney in Baton Rouge today, contact:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-343-2205

www.mlhlaw.com

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