As we discussed in our April 27, 2020 blog post, nursing homes have become the focus of significant attention during the COVID-19 crisis. In many respects, the attention is well deserved:
- Nursing homes traditionally serve seniors who often struggle with chronic health conditions. As a result, nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus infection due to both their age and health status;
- Nursing homes residents are highly interactive with each other. The close proximity of nursing home rooms/beds and the personal relationships often formed among nursing home residents make social distancing hard to maintain;
- In order to relieve pressure on hospitals that need to reserve their beds for the most acute COVID-19 patients, nursing homes are under significant pressure to accept COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from hospitals because they no longer require an acute level of care but still may be symptomatic and require isolation and treatment; and
- Most importantly, the above three factors and others have turned many nursing homes across the country into hot spots for coronavirus infection and, in some cases, COVID-19 fatalities. Overwhelming data as to the dangers found in nursing homes is highlighted in the blog article referenced above.