South Carolina – July 23, 2021

Nursing home residents may still be put at risk of COVID-19 infections in South Carolina.  Employee vaccinations are lagging compared to the rest of the U.S. and prioritizing vaccines for employees is at the top of the list for nursing home administrators.  According to AARP research, South Carolina nursing homes only have 7.8% of nursing home facility employees with completed vaccinations rates of 75%, or more, and need to do more to retain safety guidelines for residents.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  issued several recommendations for how nursing homes should handle COVID-19 preparedness. Every nursing home should have on staff at least one person whose job it is to manage COVID-19 preparation.

  • Adherence to use of face masks updates.
  • Visitation procedures that encourage reduced infection transmittal.
  • Nursing home staff should ask visitors to let the nursing home know if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of visiting the nursing home.
  • Have a testing plan in place for COVID-19 breakthrough infections for residents who have been vaccinated.
  • Have a generous sick leave policy for nursing home staff and encourage staff to stay home if they are not feeling well.
  • Develop a plan for what to do if there is a shortfall of staff due to illness.
  • Make sure nursing home has proper PPE, hand sanitation, and equipment to handle illness and prevent infection.
  • Have a plan in place for where to house residents who become sick with COVID-19 and a plan in place for caring for residents who get sick with the coronavirus.
  • Have a plan in place regarding how family will be informed about outbreaks and illness among loved ones.

Resident rights.

The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 ensures residential rights to the over one million Americans living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. An experienced nursing home attorney can help if resident rights are violated.

A nursing home facility can be held liable for any personal injury or neglect that causes harm, exacerbates health conditions, or results in an untimely death of a resident. Legal action may be taken against a nursing home based on acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger.

Standard of care.

 In accordance with South Carolina Nursing Home Laws (S.C. Code Section 44-7-260), “An infection isolation room shall be made available if ordered by the attending physician for a resident who has a communicable disease that poses a threat to the health or safety of other residents, When sub-standard care results in harm to a resident, or outright abuse occurs, call an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Offices, to discuss a potential nursing home abuse lawsuit if you, or a loved one suffered injury, or death caused by unsafe nursing home practices, inadequate precautions and sustained exposure to other sick long-term care residents.

 

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000

 

Sources.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/100th-congress/house-bill/3545/titles

https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/Regulations/R.61-17.pdf

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/About/howcannhchelp.html

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

https://www.wtoc.com/2021/07/23/south-carolina-nursing-homes-behind-employee-vaccinations-against-covid-19/

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