With the new, more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading quickly, information on Coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is severely lacking, leaving family members in the dark about whether their loved ones are at risk. Source.
Across the state of Florida, COVID-19 cases are on the rise once again, and vaccinations are lagging, even with the new Delta variant quickly spreading. During the week of July 12, positive COVID cases nearly doubled in the state of Florida, with outbreaks occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, among other places.
In the early months of the pandemic, the state of Florida shared data on COVID-19 for individual facilities and ensured that all information was as up-to-date as possible at all times. Now, over a year into the pandemic and with vaccinations readily available, it is difficult for the public to get up-to-date information on nursing home facility outbreaks, especially for individual facilities. This is because the distribution of this information is now in the hands of facility administrators, who may or may not choose to disclose outbreaks and vaccination information to the public.
While seventy percent (70%) of nursing home residents in the state of Florida had been vaccinated as of July 4, 2021, only forty-two percent (42%) of nursing home staff had been vaccinated. In fact, Florida has one of the lowest vaccination rates for nursing home staff members in the country, falling behind every state except Louisiana.
The concern with unvaccinated staff members is the potential for them to increase exposure to nursing home residents, who are one of the most vulnerable populations. Furthermore, the Department of Health has not revealed whether or not it plans to resume publishing COVID-19 data for individual facilities, or whether it plans on sharing staff and resident vaccination rates for facilities.
Without this critical information, Floridians are having a difficult time making an informed decision when choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility for their loved ones, or even for themselves. Without records of outbreaks and vaccination rates, residents and their families do not know where they will be most at risk, and where they will be the safest.
At Beltz & Beltz, we believe that your loved ones should never be put at risk. That is why our experienced attorneys represent those who have been put at risk in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. If you or your loved ones have suffered, contact our office for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
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