Local news for South Carolina reported on nationwide inspections that will take place in nursing homes as a response to the large number of COVID-19 related deaths that occurred in these facilities. The federal government is concerned that many of these deaths could have been prevented with better oversight.
Thousands have died in nursing homes during coronavirus pandemic
At the start of June of 2020, approximately 26,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus happened within the confines of nursing homes in America. This represents a very large segment of all virus related deaths nationally. However, the exact totals may be even higher as the CDC claims that only about 80% of nursing homes and assisted living facilities nationally have reported their virus deaths.
As a response, the federal government said that fines would increase for states that did not follow guidelines for safety and cleanliness within the facilities. They recommended increased inspections to remedy problems related to the virus spreading.
Reports about high numbers of cases and deaths in homes have started many debates and arguments within the bureaucracy of government about who is responsible and how the problem should be solved. Over 60,000 total cases were confirmed in nursing homes around the country at the time of the news report, and a number of unconfirmed cases and pending tests would likely move that total even higher. Staff members in homes have also been hit hard, as about 34,000 have been infected and almost 400 have died.
The administrator and head of the government’s state and federal medicare and medicaid programs said that homes should ensure that residents are being made to wash their hands regularly and inspectors need to maintain more of a physical presence to help end the pandemic. She claims that there is no substitute for active oversight from inspectors and administrators.
Some states were more deficient than others throughout the pandemic as well. For example, Colorado inspected every single home since they reported their first coronavirus case but West Virginia only inspected about 11%. Various federal agencies have threatened to stop or reduce federal funding related to pandemic relief for states that continually allow homes to operate without sufficient oversight.
The director of the CDC made a formal statement with all of these data points, telling state governors that nursing homes have been devastated by the virus and there is a continued threat. Federal watchdog reports had found patterns of neglect, abuse, and failure to meet safety and cleanliness standards in the months before the pandemic.
Learn more about nursing home abuse and neglect from an experienced lawyer
There are local lawyers in South Carolina who spend their time helping people who have been injured or infected in a nursing home. To learn more, talk with an attorney at:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201