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Covid Nursing Home Staff Deaths Under Reported

A report published on November 30th in Kaiser Health News


https://khn.org/news/article/osha-let-employers-decide-whether-to-report-health-care-worker-deaths-many-didnt/ paints a disturbing picture of nursing homes. According to the investigation, State and federal law require nursing homes to alert OSHA {Occupational Safety and Health Administration) about work-related employee deaths. Still, many facilities decide not to report them. KHN looked at 240 deaths of health care workers in 2020, many of whom were nursing home employees, and found that one-third were never reported. Why? Because the Employer Facilities unilaterally decide whether to label a healthcare worker’s death as “work-related” and decide whether the death should be reported to OSHA. There is no independent review of the Employer’s decision. Below is a table showing KHN’s findings.

Covid Nursing Home Staff Deaths Under Reported

Since the pandemic started in California, 100 staff working in nursing homes have died from COVID-19, but only 38 of those deaths were reported to OSHA. Of course, if the workers had contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, a more than likely possibility, the deaths would be reportable. And what happens when nursing homes report deaths of workers from workplace-related events? That information is tracked in Federal Databases, and the facilities themselves may come under additional scrutiny, and Federal investigators question their safety protocols. If a facility reports no worker-related deaths, they get a clean bill of health, meaning that regulators and families will be lead to believe that their infection control procedures are adequate.

The Washington Post reported on October 29th that more than 40,000 residents have so far died from COVID-19

in nursing homes that received a clean bill of health. Bad enough when patients of nursing homes die, but what happens when staff is also getting infected and die? Nursing home companies would prefer that information not be disclosed. Covid nursing home staff deaths under reported does not have to happen.

It is crucial for families of nursing home residents to remain vigilant. If workers inside nursing homes get sick, it’s vital that Federal authorities and families be notified. If you, an employee, or someone you know, believe that a nursing home is not reporting accurate information, contact OSHA and your State Department of Public Health and file a complaint. If you still feel that that’s not enough, contact our Law Firm and speak with one of our team members. If we can’t help, we will likely direct you to agencies, departments, or lawyers in your state may that be able to help.  It is important that Covid Nursing Home Staff Deaths Under Reported does not continue to happen.

If you are facing issues with Covid nursing home deaths under reported or have other related issues give us a call.

Attorney Wendy York of York Law Firm specializes in prosecuting elder abuse and wrongful death cases.  If you or a loved one needs legal assistance we are here to help.  Contact York Law Firm today!