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Governor Roy Cooper has passed a bill stating that you cannot sue a healthcare provider for COVID-19 unless gross negligence is involved

The coronavirus has sent shockwaves rippling throughout the nation. Almost nowhere has the tragedy of this illness been more apparent than in nursing homes. The CDC has established strict guidelines for nursing facilities with detailed prevention protocols for management and staff. Most recently, Governor Roy Cooper released an executive order detailing specific provisions nursing homes must comply with to ensure the safety of residents.

If your relative became ill or died due to the coronavirus and you believe that the nursing home did not do their part to help curtail the virus’s spread, a Raleigh nursing home coronavirus lawyer may be able to help. If the facility’s dereliction of duty contributed to your family members’ illness or death, a personal injury attorney could advocate aggressively on your behalf to hold the nursing home responsible for damages suffered by you or your loved one.

What are the Symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 can emerge anywhere from a few days after two weeks from when a patient is first exposed to a person carrying the virus. This is one of many reasons why it is so essential for nursing homes to take the necessary safety precautions and ensure that staff who are feeling unwell, for any reason, remain at home and do not come into work. If a member of the nursing home staff is forced to report to work despite feeling unwell, and it turns out that they have the coronavirus, residents, as well as other workers, can be put at grave risk.

The early symptoms of coronavirus usually manifest in the form of high temperature, sore throat, and a dry cough and sometimes the loss of taste or smell. Coronavirus symptoms can spiral out of control in a matter of hours. Sometimes, a patient may seem to be recovering before they experience a sudden turn for the worst.

If a resident has difficulty breathing, chest tightness, or disorientation, they should receive emergency medical care. Nursing homes must carefully monitor their residents for signs of illness, ensure they receive prompt medical attention, and if needed, emergency treatment. If a nursing home does not respond quickly when a resident exhibits signs of coronavirus and the delayed action results in the resident’s death, a Raleigh attorney can advise whether a lawsuit may be filed for wrongful death damages.

Coronavirus Guidelines for Nursing Care Facilities in Raleigh

Governor Cooper’s guidance for nursing homes in North Carolina includes requiring all staff to wear protective face masks. Separate staff members should be assigned to care for residents who are ill and to those who remain healthy. Community areas where residents would regularly congregate are to be shut down, and both workers and residents must receive daily checks for signs of illness. If a resident becomes ill with coronavirus, the executive order instructs that they are to be transferred to a different wing of the nursing home entirely.

These requirements are in line with the guidance issued by the CDC. Specifically, facilities should ensure staff are equipped with personal protective equipment, including face masks, eye gear, and gloves. Hand sanitizer featuring no less than 60 percent alcohol content should be located in every room occupied by residents and in communal locations. Staff should also be limited to essential workers who should frequently do self-checks for signs of illness. The staff who are still coming into work should be properly trained in sanitation practices and protective gear utilization.

How to Filing a Nursing Home Negligence Claim for Coronavirus

A negligence-based lawsuit against a nursing home must show that the facility failed to uphold the accepted standard of patient care and that this neglect of duty was the proximate cause of the harm to the resident. When a nursing home does not take appropriate steps to care for a patient suffering from coronavirus or fails to comply with the guidance issued by local and national authorities, they may be liable if the resident becomes ill or dies. A nursing home attorney can review the circumstances of a potential coronavirus claim in Raleigh and advise whether there may be grounds for further legal action.

Contact a Raleigh Nursing Home Coronavirus Attorney

If you or a loved one contracted coronavirus at a nursing home, you should not delay in contacting a Raleigh nursing home coronavirus lawyer for further guidance. Compensation may be available for the pain, suffering, medical expenses, and other losses that could have been prevented had the nursing home upheld their duty of care. Call now to receive your confidential consultation with a Raleigh attorney.