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COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes

April 22, 2020 Blog

Many nursing home facilities around the country have closed their doors to visitors in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to their elderly residents. Those living in such facilities are amongst the groups most at risk of suffering life-threatening complications from the virus. However, a recent investigation revealed a shocking number of coronavirus cases among long-term care residents.

Nursing Homes with COVID-19 Cases in San Diego

Of the 258 nursing homes across California with reported COVID-19 outbreaks, the state’s Department of Health listed 11 located in San Diego County. As of April 17, 2020, the following nursing homes had reported cases of COVID-19:

  • Avocado Post-Acute, El Cajon
  • Boulder Creek Post-Acute, Poway
  • Country Hills Post-Acute, El Cajon
  • Edgemoor Hospital DP/SNF, Santee
  • La Mesa Healthcare Center, La Mesa
  • Lemon Grove Care & Rehabilitation Center
  • San Diego Post-Acute Center, El Cajon
  • The Bradley Court, El Cajon
  • The Springs at Pacific Regent, San Diego
  • Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital, Escondido
  • Villa Rancho, San Diego

Country Hills Post-Acute reported that 19 residents – San Diego County’s highest number of patients – and 11 staff members have tested positive for the virus. Villa Rancho and The Bradley Court reported five positive coronavirus cases among patients – the second-highest number.

One piece of information which was made clear at the onset of the pandemic was that the elderly and those with compromised immunities are more vulnerable to the virus. Why then has there been a high incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths in facilities trained specifically to care for the elderly? As the number of coronavirus casualties in nursing homes continues to rise, families who lost loved ones are wondering if their deaths could have been prevented.

How Nursing Homes Should Protect Patients and Staff

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated infection prevention and control recommendations for patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection in healthcare settings. These are the steps which nursing homes should be taking to minimize the risk to elderly residents of senior living facilities and nursing homes:

  • Actively screen everyone entering a healthcare facility for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter. This action may help prevent transmission from infected individuals with and without symptoms.
  • Visitors and patients should use cloth face coverings in the facility. Facemasks should be reserved for healthcare personnel. If a visitor or patient arrives to the healthcare facility without a cloth face covering, a facemask may be used for source control if supplies are available.
  • As community transmission intensifies within a region, healthcare facilities could consider foregoing contact tracing for exposures in favor of universal source control for healthcare personnel and screening before every shift.

If your loved one has recently passed away in a nursing home, or if you feel that your elderly loved one is not receiving necessary and reasonable care or protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to contact CaseyGerry at (619) 238-1811 to discuss your situation. We can explain your family member’s legal rights and steps you can take right now to help them. There is no obligation when you call.

For more information on nursing home negligence during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit our resource page for family members.