There’s no such thing as being too careful during a pandemic, yet cases of coronavirus have skyrocketed as states gently reopen. Florida is among those states that have opened up non-essential businesses and beaches.
As of May 12, 2020, the state reported a total of 41,923 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 4,362 cases were in the Tampa Bay area. As of June 25, that number had skyrocketed to 114,018, with 3,327 deaths.
Nursing homes on the defensive
With the numbers rising and medical professionals under more pressure than ever, this prompted the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) to request that under specific conditions, nursing homes, hospitals and other such facilities should have “immunity from any liability, civil or criminal.”
This request was sent in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, and the FHCA isn’t the only group making such a request.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the United States, nursing homes have been hit hard. Residents are less likely to recover from COVID-19 due to the fact most of them are aged 60 and older. Their immune systems aren’t as strong and more likely to be compromised by other health issues that naturally come with age, which makes them easy targets for the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, instead of taking the extra precautions to ensure the health of their patients, 75 percent of nursing homes have been cited for failure to properly address diseases and infections.
The worst part of it is that it’s nothing new.
History of neglect
Many nursing homes across the Tampa area and the state of Florida have received citations and warnings for failing to properly care for their residents, especially within the last 3 years, according to a recent analysis. Since the outbreak, lawsuits have increased against nursing homes filed by family members who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 while residing at these long-term care facilities.
Most recently, 2 Pinellas County nursing homes were evacuated after employees were tested positive for the coronavirus and removed from the facilities. Florida has since increased its efforts to test the staff and residents of all nursing homes across the state.
State and federal officials have urged every nursing home in America to begin more testing, but the lack of testing kits in some regions has made this difficult. Meanwhile, family members who have lost loved ones from COVID-19 are filing lawsuits left and right, outraged that even the simplest steps aimed at preventing the coronavirus from spreading seem to be ignored.
If you have a loved one who is currently in a nursing home and you suspect abuse or neglect, there are steps you can take to get justice and seek help. Our Tampa nursing home injury lawyers are ready to do our part. By contacting our offices and scheduling your free initial consultation, you will take the first step in the right direction to receive the compensation you and your family deserve.