Some nursing homes that were responsible for large numbers of people contracting the coronavirus in South Carolina are now starting to get formal complaints.
Residents and families complain of impending danger
The complaints were published and sent to state regulators after it was discovered that about two dozen homes in the state were not cleaned and sanitized as required, which leads to disease spread. These dirty conditions can become much more deadly during a pandemic. There were even some segments of the complaints that went into detail about how some facilities knew about the poor conditions, yet made efforts to hide or cover up problems. The documents allege that these kinds of serious and widespread problems put residents in “immediate danger.”
Other allegations include homes that did not bother testing people for the virus, even if there was evidence that they may have been infected. The workers in these homes were also not given adequate protective equipment to ensure that they would not become vectors for the virus as well.
State regulators who looked at the complaints and responded said that they do not agree with the imminent harm language, but they are concerned and plan to look at the facilities mentioned in the documents. The investigations will take place during their regularly scheduled inspections in the coming months, as the department of health workers will be within the facilities anyway. Some critics have said that this is too little and too late to stop the virus and prevent a serious outbreak.
It is possible that health department workers will recommend improvements that need to be made or even fine the homes for the more serious violations. Much of this is still contingent on what they find while they are actually inside the facility. Administrators at the homes in question said that they did their best given the sudden onset of the pandemic, and that some of the allegations against them and their facilities are completely false. Documentation shows that residents and their families did have serious concerns that were reported from the beginning of the pandemic through a couple of months later. This echoes concerns about levels of safety in nursing homes all over the country.
Numbers released in late May 2020, showed that nursing home residents were about a third of all deaths in the entire state of South Carolina, despite the fact that people in nursing homes only made up about 11% of all the state’s coronavirus cases.
Talk to a local attorney who helps people in nursing homes
It is common for those under the care of a nursing home or similar facility to suddenly become very sick or even die. Unfortunately, this is usually because of poor conditions with the homes that go unnoticed.
To get legal assistance in the Columbia area, contact:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201