On Jan. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a federal vaccine mandate for medical facilities that take Medicare and/or Medicaid payments. This meant that more than 10 million long-term care workers, including those who work in nursing homes, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of February or mid-March, depending upon their state.
Despite the SCOTUS-sanctioned mandate, however, nearly 20% of employees in senior health care facilities are not fully vaccinated. To be fully vaccinated, employees must have had both of their initial shots in addition to a booster. Employees who lack the booster, either of the initial shots or any vaccination at all are not considered to be fully vaccinated.
With so many unvaccinated long-term care workers apparently flouting the mandate, there is an understandable concern for patients in their care. Nearly 150,000 long-term care facility residents have died from COVID-19, along with around 2,300 staff members. These deaths occurred amid nearly 2 million total COVID-19 cases reported in long-term care facilities since the beginning of the pandemic.
What Should I Do If I’m Concerned About My Nursing Home’s COVID Policies?
If you or a loved one are in a long-term care facility and have concerned about exposure to COVID-19 from unvaccinated staff, you can speak with a lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
All health care facilities for seniors in the U.S. that accept Medicaid and Medicare are required to comply with federal vaccination mandates by March 15. States that didn’t initially challenge the federal mandate in court, such as Illinois, must comply by Feb. 28.
If you believe you or a loved one is at risk from the unvaccinated staff at a long-term care facility after Feb. 28, 2021, you can reach out to us at Turner Law Group to learn more about how we can help.
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