OSHA Guidelines for Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities During COVID-19

OSHA Guidelines for Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on communities across the country. However, data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention as well as the World Health Organization show that older adults have an increased risk of severe or fatal infection from COVID-19 compared to other age groups.

Inevitably, this has meant that individuals in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are at an increased risk of contracting the virus, passing it on to others at the facility, and developing severe complications from it.

While there is no way to completely prevent the spread of the virus, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued alerts with the for nursing homes and long-term care facilities the mitigate the risk of infection and keep both resident and workers safe. Some of the guidelines include:

  • Screen workers and residents regularly for signs and symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Send sick workers home or to seek medical care;

  • Closely monitor and take additional precautions regarding employees and residents who may have been exposed to an individual with the coronavirus;

  • Ask visitors to inform the facility if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with the coronavirus within 14 days of their visit;

  • Maintain at least 6 feet between workers, residents, and visitors to the extent possible, including while workers perform their duties and during breaks;

  • Stagger break periods to avoid crowding in breakrooms;

  • Consider alternatives to in-person large group gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, resident activities);

  • Continually monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks, burn rate, and supply chains. Develop a process to decontaminate and reuse PPE, such as face shields and goggles, as appropriate. Follow CDC recommendations for optimization of PPE supplies; and

  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

You can view the full list of OSHA guidance measures for nursing homes during COVID-19 here. Additionally, you can contact the agency by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visiting their website to report a nursing home that is not abiding by safety and health guidelines.

If you believe that your elderly loved one is being abused or neglected at a nursing home, turn to Kornfeld Law for dedicated and caring legal representation. We will fight for justice on behalf of your family and protect what matters most to you.

Contact our Seattle nursing home abuse attorneys at (425) 657-5255 to learn more about your legal options. We offer no-fee, no-obligation consultations and can provide you with a phone or video consultation during the pandemic.

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