Nursing Home at the Center of Major U.S. Corona Virus Outbreak
At this juncture in time, perhaps the most accurate word associated with the Corona Virus outbreak in the United States is “confusion.” Arguably, what is not understood about the Corona Virus outpaces what is currently reliably known about the pathogen and the risk it presents to people in the United States.
Over the first weekend of March, one alarming situation involving an outbreak of the Corona Virus became clear and resulted in the Governor of Washington declaring a public health emergency in that Northwestern state. As of Monday afternoon, March 2, six confirmed Corona Virus related deaths have been reported in the United States. Three of these deaths involved residents of a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.
Washington state currently has 18 confirmed cases of Corona Virus, or COVID-19, infection. At least six of these cases are at the referenced skilled nursing facility in Kirkland. Approximately 250 people across the state of Washington are exhibiting symptoms of Corona Virus and are being monitored.
25 firefighters that may have come in contact with infected residents of the Kirkland care center are now in quarantine. This represents 25% of the community’s fire department.
An increasing number of schools are now being shuttered across the greater Seattle area. In addition, some of the nation’s best-known companies, headquartered in the tech corridor at Seattle, are altering their operations in response to the virus. Companies that have closed some of their offices and have stopped all non-essential travel include Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft, to name a few.
As of Monday morning, there were 90 confirmed cases of Corona Virus infection in the United States. The virus is known to be present in 12 states as of this moment in time. Over 3,000 people around the world have died as the result of a Corona Virus infection. Almost 90,000 known cases of infection have been documented globally.
Health officials have made one point abundantly clear in the past few days. A notable percentage of people who end up infected with the Corona Virus may exhibit no symptoms or have only a very mild response to it. Thus, they may not need medical assistance and never realize they’ve been infected. As a result, these individuals are highly likely to unknowingly spread the disease to many other people.
In Washington state, health officials warn that the identified cases of documented Corona Virus may very well be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Health officials warn of the existence of a “hidden cluster” of undiagnosed infected people that numbers in the hundreds in the Seattle area alone. They further note that a hidden cluster in the Seattle area is apt to be far from the only potential constellation of hundreds of infected people yet to be identified in communities across the United States,
Nursing homes and other assisted care facilities have become a priority in the effort to identify and contain the disease in light of the ongoing situation at the Kirkland, Washington, facility. In addition to addressing the prospect of clusters of undiagnosed infected individuals across the country, a significant concern is now being expressed about nursing care facilities becoming epicenters of primary Corona Virus outbreaks.
Nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, skilled care facilities, hospitals, clinics, and medical practices have a definitive duty to protect their residents, clients, and patients from harm. Indeed, that is at the heart of the Hippocratic Oath: a doctor (or other medical provider) must first do nothing that causes further harm, injury, or illness to a patient. It is also a clear legal responsibility.
These types of facilities have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps and precautions to protect residents, clients, and patients from viral and bacterial infections, including the Corona Virus. This particularly has become the case now that these healthcare providers are on notice that medical and healthcare centers very well maybe at the epicenter of potential outbreaks of Corona Virus in the United States.
If your or a loved one has contracted an infection of any sort, including the Corona Virus, as the result of a stay at or visit to a medical facility of any type, you may have a claim for the injury, damages, and losses that you sustain as a result of that illness. A Doan Law Firm personal injury lawyer at (800) 349-000 can provide you a case assessment to determine whether you have a claim. There is no cost for an initial consultation. In addition, The Doan Law Firm never charges a fee unless we win for you.