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Articles Posted in Coronavirus

aging-2379003_1920-1024x819Nursing Home residents require around the clock care and focused one on one attention from skilled nurses and certified nurse assistants. Many nursing homes, however, have severe understaffing problems. These problems are largely the result of nursing home owners putting profits ahead of quality care.  Why is a shortage of staff so important? Being short-staffed seriously impacts the quality of care that residents receive. Understaffing is one of the major contributing factors to nursing home abuse and neglect.  And it can lead to the spread of infections like COVID-19 among vulnerable residents in nursing homes. Already, at least 400 nursing homes around the country have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and that number will likely increase in the days and weeks ahead.

Unfortunately, the problem of understaffing is not likely to go away any time soon. With 25% to 30% of nurses in Illinois set to retire in the next five years, the state expects a shortage of 21,000 nurses by 2021. By contrast, nursing homes expect to see significant growth in population. The number of Illinois residents age 85 and older is projected to grow by over 50 percent by 2030. This will worsen an already serious problem.

How Prevalent is Under Staffing?

coronavirus-4923544_1920-1-1024x576During the global COVID-19 pandemic, elderly populations are among the most vulnerable to the virus and its devastating effects. Nursing Homes are especially vulnerable, as elderly or immunocompromised residents are clustered together.

An analysis by the Chicago Tribune finds that federal nursing home inspection records show that Illinois’ nursing home facilities are among the worst in the nation for preventing patient infections. The Tribune found that one of the major factors leading to poor infection rates is a failure to follow rules to prevent and contain infections.

The Tribune analysis found that 642 out of 723 Illinois nursing homes, or 89%, have been cited for violating infection control regulations at least once since 2016. Moreover, the Tribune found 77 facilities in the Chicago area that had three or more citations since 2016. Nine of those had five or more citations and one had seven. This is especially troubling at the present time, as preventing the spread of COVID-19 requires nursing homes to strictly adhere to infection control measures.

courtroom-898931_1920-3-1024x771Courts across the State of Illinois have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All civil cases have been continued for several weeks in an effort to enforce social distancing policies and reduce the impact of the virus. Importantly, all civil jury trials have been suspended for March and most of April.  So what happens to your case when the Courts are closed and jury trials are suspended?

Our firm is working hard to ensure that your case continues to move forward in a timely fashion. Individuals and businesses need access to the Courts, and the ability to settle disputes has not declined because of the pandemic. Here’s what happens with the Courts closed:

Electronic Filing is Available

coronavirus-4944680_1920-2Today is Sunday, March 29.  125,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19.  More than 2,200 have died.  More than 500 died just yesterday.  Infections and deaths are more than doubling every 3 days.  1,000 Americans will die one day this week.  Having laid waste to New York, this viral hurricane is hungry for more devastation.  The people of Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Dallas are next in line to suffer the anguish of massive infections, death, and the threatened collapse of their hospital systems.  Small town, rural America will not be spared, either, because COVID-19 doesn’t give a damn for state or county lines.

How does this end?   Quite possibly with hundreds of thousands of Americans dying, according to the Center for Disease Control, and other credible disease modelers. Dr. Anthony Fauci, just today, said 200,000 Americans could die.  How many die depends significantly on whether we and our government take this killer virus seriously.  Whether we are disciplined social distancers and honor the “stay at home” orders in place in most states, will have a lot to do with it.

President Trump knows all of this.  He knows the horror that is bearing down on us.  But we see no sign that this matters to him, at least not as much his re-election chances do.  And he believes those chances are being badly damaged by the “stay at home” orders because they accept, as the price to be paid for saving perhaps a million or more American lives, a significantly weakened American economy (hopefully over the shorter term).

From pandemic under-preparedness to environmental deregulation, Donald Trump’s federal government is out of the business of protecting lives and health.

coronavirus-4957673_1920-1-1024x683As I write this, more than 55,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19.  More than 800 of them have died.  More than 200 died yesterday.  In many parts of the country, the number of detected infections, and death, are doubling every 3 days.  By this weekend, more than 100,000 will have tested positive.  Likely more than 1,500 will have died.  The rampage of this virus is on a frightening trajectory; we are likely to see days in the month of April where 500 or more, perhaps even 1000, Americans die in a single day.

Unmoved by the carnage mounting all around him, Donald Trump now enlists Americans to “pack the churches” for Easter in 18 days, in the craven hope that they will literally risk their lives in massive congregations, all to provide the photo op he believes will bolster his chances at re-election.  Most scientists predict that COVID-19 will be at its most savage right about that time.

corona-4930541_1920As we now know from the tragic deaths at a Seattle area nursing home, the elderly and patients in nursing and long-term care facilities–especially those with underlying health conditions– are most at risk from the coronavirus. That is why it is so important for your loved one’s nursing home to be extra vigilant at preventing infections during this critical time. All long-term care facilities should be following the special nursing home guidelines from the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among patients and staff.

CDC Guidelines for Nursing Homes

  • Restrict all visitors except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life residents. In these situations, the visitor should be limited to a specific room only.
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