Nursing homes throughout the state of Iowa were dealing with steady numbers of coronavirus infections, even after the facilities had been closed to visitors for over six months. Administrators at the facilities and in the state’s department of health believe that continuing current policies is still the safest route as the case numbers appear to be holding steady.
Hundreds have already died in facilities in Iowa and more deaths are expected
By mid-September, there were 650 people in the state of Iowa who were known to have died from COVID-19. Polk County had the most confirmed cases in the state. A home named Calvin Community in Des Moines had the most cases in the county, with 35 in that facility. Another home in Ottumwa has reported 83 confirmed cases since the facility closed to visitors in March. A number of other homes in the Pleasant Hill and Des Moines areas have between 10 and 20 cases each. Wapello County was also listed as the second largest hotspot in the state, just behind Polk with a slightly lower number of cases.
The Polk County Health Department is continuing to say that complete isolation for the elderly is still the best way to prevent new infections and deaths, despite the fact that this policy has already been in place for months. A spokesperson from the department said that they are aware of the emotional toll that this takes on families, however, they are committed to keeping the same course of action. Allowing no visitors is still their policy and the best recommendation as the proper way to prevent even more loss of life during the pandemic.
The national problem of continued nursing home infections
There has been a lot of attention given to nursing homes during the pandemic, as infections have proven to be fatal for thousands of residents and staff members around the country. Approximately half of all deaths from COVID-19 nationally have also happened with facilities, killing both workers and patients staying long-term.
In addition to infections and illness, residents at nursing homes are also prone to injuries from falls or physical abuse from staff members. In either situation, the home is still responsible for the safety of those under their care and they can be sued in civil court for negligence. There may be damages available to the family for their funeral and burial costs, emotional pain and suffering, and other expenses tied to the nursing home’s problematic behavior.
Learn about lawsuits and taking legal action
If you need to talk to an attorney about an incident or a relative’s death at a nursing home in Iowa, there are professionals available. You can schedule a meeting with a professional at:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400