All throughout the country, nursing home residents have been one of the hardest hit groups of the Covid-19 pandemic. The same deadly results have been seen in Georgia as well. According to estimates, as many as 50 percent of the fatalities in the state have involved residents of nursing homes.
The Georgia Department of Community Health recently released Covid-19 fatality numbers and the results are frightening. The data suggests that more than 6,000 residents and staff members of nursing homes in Georgia are currently infected with the virus. About 350 facilities in the state are currently grappling with the outbreak. About 20 percent of all Covid-19 cases in Georgia have occurred in nursing homes and 659 deaths have been linked to nursing homes.
The picture is even bleaker in the rural parts of Georgia. The virus, which was earlier believed to be confined to urban areas, has spread with staggering speed in rural areas. These counties, with predominantly poor or African American populations have been affected disproportionately by the outbreak, and nursing homes in these regions have seen an alarming spike in death tolls.
Nursing homes were poorly positioned to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 outbreak. By their nature, these facilities were much more likely to see higher infection numbers. A nursing home houses elderly people many of whom have already weakened immune systems. Many of these nursing home residents may also suffer from a number of pre-existing diseases that make then even more immuno-compromised, and at a much greater risk of developing the most severe symptoms of Covid-19. Another factor that works against nursing homes is that these facilities usually involve a communal setting. Living areas and dining halls can be crowded, which in turn, can be a breeding ground for virus transmission.
Most nursing homes also grapple with another problem that has contributed to an increased risk of the coronavirus outbreak in their facilities. Under-staffing is a common cost-cutting measure at many nursing homes, and Georgia’s experience has been no different. When there are fewer staff members to care for every resident of a facility, it is that much more difficult to identify and implement proper infection control measures.
Maintaining social distancing protocols and ensuring that sanitation procedures are followed stringently are crucial to preventing the outbreak. This is only possible when there are enough staff members to ensure this. Unfortunately, many are already overwhelmed by their normal daily jobs to be able to effectively manage safety precautions.
The negligence of many nursing homes in Georgia has, unfortunately, resulted in many more deaths than should have occurred. At some nursing homes, Army personnel who were helping with testing and other routines found that basic social distancing measures were not being followed. The most basic infection control guidelines were not being followed by these facilities. Even basic gown and mask protocols were neglected by staff members despite constant reminders of the importance of the safety measures.
If your loved one has suffered injuries in a nursing home, talk to an Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney at the Katz Law Firm about his or her chances for compensation. A claim may help recover medical costs, as well as damages for pain and suffering and other damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm today.