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Nursing Home Wrongful Deaths

Pennsylvania nursing homes at the center of deadly coronavirus outbreaks

When families feel that they can no longer properly care for their loved ones at home, they frequently look to senior care facilities such as assisted living and nursing homes. While these facilities are looked to as a source of care and safety, they are proving to be hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks and deaths.  

There have been 4,218 Covid-19 related deaths in Pennsylvania according to the PA Department of Health. Of these, roughly 64% have been in nursing homes. In Lackawanna County, that number is close to 75%. The numbers in Scranton-area nursing homes are so alarming that they have prompted the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office to launch an investigation into how these facilities have responded to the pandemic. 

Older adults are at higher risk for developing serious complications from Covid-19. For those living in senior living facilities such, the practice of social distancing is difficult to practice

The Center for Disease Control has advised that long term care facilities, including nursing homes, restrict visitors, regularly check healthcare workers and residents for fevers and symptoms and limit activities within the facility. The state has advised that  infected residents be isolated from the other residents, But with families having limited access to their elderly family members, they are not always aware of what is going on with the health of their loved ones or within the facility itself. 

Families and the public want answers, transparency from nursing homes

Until now, specific information pertaining to nursing home deaths and Covid-19 infections has not been available to the public. Rather, the information has been reported on a county basis due to privacy concerns.  Many, including family members, elected representatives and the media have been calling for the release of more detailed information.  They have been heard.  

Beginning on May 17, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will make the reporting of data on nursing home fatalities mandatory. The released information will  include the names of facilities, the number of Covid-19 infections and the number related deaths.  

According to the PA Department of Health, there are more than 700 nursing homes throughout the state with roughly 80,000 residents.  Coronavirus has been reported at roughly 540 of these facilities. The PA Department of Health has called for the testing of all residents and staff in all facilities where coronavirus is present, and testing of 20% of residents in nursing homes without any confirmed cases.  

Immunity for nursing homes?

In the midst of this crisis, there has been a push to grant long-term care facilities blanket immunity from civil lawsuits. Chris Munley explains the potential unintended consequences of that kind of immunity on WILK Newsradio.

If you feel that your loved one has suffered a wrongful death from nursing home negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately.  The attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have extensive experience in nursing home neglect and are available for free consultations.

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