Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday he has asked the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to draft a plan that will allow immediate families to safely visit their loved ones who live in assisted living facilities, while at the same time extending his emergency order as the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to surge in the state.  “Not having people going into the nursing homes of course has reduced the spread, we believe. But it has also increased the feeling of isolation, the mental, emotional strain, and other problems,” McMaster said. Realizing that isolation is damaging, the governor is addressing the need for loved ones to spend time together with caution. After previously only permitting visitors to see their family members through a glass panel, such as a door, DHEC will issue guidance allowing outdoor visits next week, Taylor said. When case counts and other metrics start to show a decline in virus activity, in-facility visits will be restored, Taylor said.

Resident rights.

The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines residential rights to protect the approximately 1.3 million Americans living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities from nursing home abuse.  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.


  • Isolation is normally considered a type of abuse, or neglect in a nursing home venue, but during the pandemic, arrangements have been made to keep residents from families and outside visitors for fear of spreading the virus. With numbers continuing to rise, it seems this is not working as well as imagined, and isolation can be detrimental to the health of an elder person in a nursing home facility.

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 the violation of resident rights if  you, or a loved one suffered injury, exacerbated illness, or death caused by nursing home practices during COVID-19.


McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000







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