Nursing Homes Putting Employees and Residents at Risk of COVID-19

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Employees of a Rhode Island nursing home were told that a flu shot would protect them from the coronavirus where at least 60 residents were diagnosed and one died of the virus. In Ohio, a sick employee was told to keep working at a care facility despite their fever and vomiting. In Missouri, workers were told not to report anything to authorities after deaths at a nursing home. These and many other similar complaints were filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA Violations

Many care facilities are running low on proper protective gear for workers and residents. Some workers were told to use makeshift protection like coffee filters as masks and garbage bags and ponchos instead of medical gowns.

Many care facility workers feel they have been kept in the dark about the COVID-19 outbreak and the seriousness of the virus. Employers hid positive cases from staff, meaning that caregivers could not know whether they were treating an infected patient and unknowingly spreading the virus.

Many complaints also consist of employees being forced to work while showing symptoms of COVID-19.

OSHA has currently opened more than 40 COVID-19 relates inspections into nursing homes. Most of these were triggered by employee deaths or hospitalizations.

Employees Seek Help from Officials

Many nursing home employees have turned to their elected officials for help. Pennsylvania state senator, Katie Muth, has been receiving calls and messages specifically from employees at a state-run veterans home where about 50 deaths have occurred since April 1, many of which are believed to be due to COVID-19.

Muth stated that many of the requests for help she has been receiving are from employees who were pressured by their supervisors to erase signs of the disease from residents’ medical records.

Your Legal Options

Our attorneys are currently evaluating worker’s compensation and nursing home negligence cases related to COVID-19.  If you suspect you, a family member, or a friend contracted COVID-19 while on the job or while residing in a nursing facility, please contact Hugh Cook at 800-598-0314.