Local news for South Carolina reported on the Trump administration’s plan to provide coronavirus testing to nursing homes, but there were also limitations that could lead to undetected outbreaks.
Federal government will provide nursing homes with limited amount of new testing technology
The testing kits have enough materials to complete a few initial rounds of coronavirus tests for staff and patients that will provide very quick results. However, it seems that beyond these first few rounds of tests, they will be left on their own. The program sounded very promising initially, due to the fact that these quick turnaround tests would help greatly in terms of keeping infected individuals away from vulnerable residents. However, now many are disappointed with the prospect of only enough tests to last days or weeks depending on the size of the facility.
Nursing homes have gained a reputation for mistakes and problems in recent years, and the pandemic has made the situation even worse. About 40% of all coronavirus deaths in the country have happened within the confines of nursing homes. A national advocacy group that represents nursing homes and their patients said that the testing technology is useful, but its effectiveness will be very limited for nursing homes if they only have enough kits to test everyone in the facility once or twice. However, the group did acknowledge that the weekly cost of testing an entire facility will cost between twenty and forty thousand dollars depending on how many patients and staff are present. Others have urged for a more consistent national testing program, rather than relying on the piecemeal approach taken by state and country governments. Congress has allocated approximately $5 billion for various forms of nursing home protection and relief, and homes that believe that they need more testing can apply for some of this money. There have also been arrangements made to replenish testing kits in the rapid response machines for a lower price once the initial batch supplied by the government runs out.
The disastrous consequences of a deadly infection
Outbreaks of infectious diseases are especially troubling for nursing homes. The coronavirus pandemic was essentially the worst case scenario for people housed in these facilities.
When an infection, virus, or bacterial ailment spreads through a facility, the elderly and infirm can die in a fairly short span of time if they are not treated and the outbreak is not controlled. Staff members in nursing homes also tend to neglect patients inside, which can exacerbate the issues caused by an infection.
Speak with a nursing home abuse attorney
There are lawyers who can assist you with the process of bringing a civil case against a facility for abuse or neglect. To get more information, contact:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201