Earlier this week, the state of California reported that nearly 40% of the coronavirus-related deaths had happened at assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities. As of April 25, 2020 there were 144 confirmed deaths that occurred in assisted living facilities. As of April 28, there was a total of 578 nursing home resident deaths. There have also been 11 healthcare workers who have died after they contracted the virus in a nursing home setting.
Accuracy Concerns Regarding the Current Available California Data
The state has denied a request for identification of where the deaths occurred. It is also believed that the newly released data is not necessarily complete, based on a Los Angeles Times analysis. It appears that the data was missing multiple facilities that have known outbreaks, and that facilities with six or fewer beds were not included in the data.
Another concern with the accuracy of this data is that it only includes known deaths by the facilities. This means that it may not include the deaths that occurred after a resident was transferred over to a hospital, or a private home, or other location.
Current Measures Being Taken to Help Reduce Coronavirus-Related Fatalities
State and local officials have announced that new measures will be taken to tackle the increasing fatality rate. These measures include incorporating more aggressive regulations and seeking help from the California National Guard. The California National Guard will be going inside nursing homes to boost staffing levels.
Other plans include the expansion of testing for both symptomatic and asymptomatic staff and residents, a visitor ban, suspended communal dining, and personal protective equipment to be required to be worn by all residents and staff. These additional measures are designed to get a better idea of how many people in nursing homes have actually contracted the virus, and also to limit access to outsiders who may already be carrying the virus.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.