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Why we shouldn't send infected people back into Jefferson County nursing homes

Alabama nursing home attorney

The elderly population is the most vulnerable to infectious respiratory diseases, such as influenza and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It only takes one person to spread a virus to another to result in a devastating outbreak in a nursing home.

Attorney Perry Shuttlesworth recently reached out to Governor Kay Ivey in a letter addressing a dangerous decision made by the Jefferson County Health Department.

Dr. Mark Wilson sent a letter to Jefferson County nursing homes endorsing a non-test-based strategy to allow staff members or residents with COVID-19 to return to facilities.

Personal injury lawyer addresses the issue publicly

Attorney Shuttlesworth recently wrote an opinion piece for AL.com publicly addressing the safety risks posed by the Jefferson County Health Department's decision. Attorney Shuttlesworth cited a statistic by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eight out of every 10 COVID-19 deaths occur in people ages 65 and older.

Any staff member or resident who tests positive for COVID-19 should be isolated until they meet the test-based strategy guidelines set forth by the CDC. The criteria for this are:

  • A fever must resolve without the use of fever-reduction medicine.
  • Respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) must improve.
  • There must be negative test results from an FDA Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 molecular assay from at least two consecutive nose swab specimens collected 24 hours apart.

A non-test-based strategy for returning residents back to a nursing home should not be employed, nor is it practical. COVID-19 testing is available at two Jefferson County locations:

  • UAB Hospital in Birmingham
  • Ross Bridge Medical Center in Hoover

Contact us if your loved one was harmed as a result

The Jefferson County Health Department's actions are detrimental, per the CDC's guidelines. They are a danger to the older population who we should be protecting.

If your loved one was harmed as a result of these actions, it's critical that you take legal action. Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC fights for the rights of victims of nursing home neglect and their families.

You can contact us online or call our Birmingham office at 866-583-1885 to schedule your free, confidential case evaluation.

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