Coronavirus Isolation Centers at Florida Nursing Homes Raise Concerns for Family Members
As the summer rages on, so does the spread of the coronavirus in Florida. According to the latest data released by the health department on Saturday, August 15th, 2020, the state added 6,148 cases to the continuously climbing list of positive test results. Hot spots have been sprouting up all over the place for weeks now, again overwhelming first responders and medical personnel who have been putting their lives on the line for months. Assisted-living facilities and nursing homes are also feeling the strain, with many of them seeing an alarming spike in their COVID-19 cases due to the creation of “isolation centers”.
According to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Florida has constructed 23 coronavirus isolation centers at long-term care facilities and nursing homes throughout the state. These isolation centers are designed to house elderly COVID-19 patients who are well enough to leave the hospital, but cannot return home due to their need for additional medical care from the long-lasting effects of the virus. They are set up in existing facilities, perhaps in a separate building or unused wing, away from the other residents. State officials believe this practice to be key in keeping hospital beds available for patients who need them the most, while potentially protecting families from a reinfection at home. However, some relatives have started to step forward to express concerns over the safety of their loved ones who’ve lived there long before the coronavirus.
Danielle Cohen is the granddaughter of a Broward County nursing home resident whose long-term care facility was recently converted into one of these isolation centers. She worries that not enough is being done to keep her grandfather safe. “There are no requirements in terms of how structures need to be sealed off. There are no requirements as to how air flow needs to flow,” she said.
The glaring issue that arises with these isolation centers is that residents and family members within these facilities are not being notified when COVID-19 positive patients have been transferred there, nor have they been informed of the safety precautions or procedures being employed by staff and faculty. Additionally, the uninfected resident has no choice or voice in the matter either.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.