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COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Whatever you call it, there is no doubt your newsfeed and daily life have been affected by this illness in some way. More susceptible to COVID-19 are those with weakened immune systems. For example, the elderly. In fact, nursing homes are one of the most at-risk places when it comes to contracting the coronavirus.

Let’s look at some numbers. More than 25% of Virginia’s nursing home residents have already died due to COVID-19. Over 100 residents and employees in just one nursing home in Kansas have contracted the virus. Overall, it is estimated that over 7,000 deaths from the virus have been linked to nursing homes. In Florida, it is reported that 1 out of every 4 cases of the virus has been contracted in a nursing home.

What this means for you and your loved ones

If you have a loved one in a long-term care facility, it is important you are aware of what is going on. It might seem like below-standard care is a new issue. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a new problem. Studies show that some nursing homes that have reported cases of COVID-19 have also violated federal regulations in years before. Specifically, regulations regarding infectious diseases.

So, what does this mean for you? First, you’ll want to make sure that the nursing home staff are keeping you updated. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask to speak to your loved one. Ask them simple, but important questions. How are they feeling? Have they told staff? Have the staff looked into complaints about not feeling well?

Time is everything

When it comes to coronavirus, or any infectious disease, time is everything. It is important your loved one receives proper care and treatment as soon as they start feeling badly. With lots of nursing homes being understaffed due to the virus, it is more possible than ever for something to be missed. If you or your loved one’s concerns are ignored and care is put off, there could be negative affects later on.

What should you do?

These troubling times have a lot of people considering whether or not they should pull their loved one from facilities. Before you make this decision, it is important to consider a few things. You might want to ask yourself, Do I have the ability to provide around-the-clock care? Is everyone in my house staying home, or are they still working, etc.?

Trying to move your loved one during this time could possibly be more detrimental than you think. This is why we stress the importance of checking in with your nursing home to understand their policies and procedures regarding COVID-19.

ambulance and covid-19

Peace of mind

Also, do not hesitate to contact the nursing home your loved one is in. Ask them what they are doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Feel free to ask any questions concerning your loved one as well. Especially since most nursing homes have limited or temporarily suspended visiting times. It is also your right to pull your loved one from the nursing home if you feel that they will be safer at home, which is what some in New Jersey have done.

Thankfully, the Trump Administration recently announced some new regulations for nursing homes. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities will be required to report any COVID-19 cases. Any cases of the virus must be reported to residents and their family members as well. Hopefully these new regulations will help prevent the rapid spread of the virus.

How we can help you

If you or a loved one became ill or suffered a serious injury or wrongful death due to negligence in a long term care facility, including contracting COVID-19, give us a call today to discuss your options. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you have.


Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients.

If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help. You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at www.gerlinglaw.com.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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