COVID-19 was unprecedented and, in many respects, beyond our collective control. We are now two years into this pandemic, however. Our public health officials and healthcare workers have learned a great deal about the Sars-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes. They have developed new therapies, learned a great deal about mitigation through vaccines and most importantly, how to prevent its spread. With COVID-19, an ounce of prevention is truly worth many pounds of cure, as this CDC data demonstrates.
Despite this wealth of knowledge, nursing homes, such as these in West Virginia, continue to experience severe COVID outbreaks. Some measure of COVID-19 community transmission, including in nursing homes, is unavoidable. Some, however, is the result of corporate nursing homes placing profits over patients and failing to take appropriate preventative measures to arrest or mitigate outbreaks. As the Cleveland Plain Dealer points out, this greed has led to at least 84 unnecessary deaths in Ohio nursing homes alone.
Nursing homes have failed their residents by:
- Failing to appropriately test staff and residents;
- Failing to isolate infected residents;
- Allowing infected staff to care for residents;
- Backdating or mislabeling test samples or results.