Group homes for intellectually disabled adults have been hit hard by deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 (coronavirus). A recent investigation found over 680 deaths and thousands of infections.
Need a Texas COVID-19 Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If your loved one is a resident of a group home for disabled adults who was infected or died of COVID-19 (coronavirus), you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is the problem?
An estimated 275,000 adults with intellectual disabilities like autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy live in group homes and government-funded institutions called Intermediate Care Facilities.
Tragically, a growing number of group homes for disabled adults have been ravaged by deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 — and many of these facilities were cited in the past for failing to control infectious diseases.
Coronavirus Hits Disabled Group Homes Hard
Challenges of Controlling COVID-19 in Group Homes
Outbreaks of COVID-19 are especially challenging in group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The residents may have underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of life-threatening complications from COVID-19 infections. Furthermore, social distancing is impossible when residents live communally and share a room. Some residents also need frequent hands-on care.
Investigation Finds At Least 680 Deaths from COVID-19 in Group Homes
In June 2020, an investigation by the Associated Press found at least 680 deaths and more than 5,800 infections with COVID-19 at group homes for disabled adults — but because many states did not report data, including California and Texas, the actual number is much higher.
40% of Group Homes Were Cited for Failing to Control Infectious Diseases
From 2013 to 2019, around 40% of government-funded group homes were cited for failing to meet safety standards for preventing and controlling outbreaks of infectious diseases, according to the AP review of inspection reports for Intermediate Care Facilities.
These facilities were frequently cited for basic failures, such as:
- Staff not washing their hands in-between caring for multiple residents
- Staff re-using gloves and masks
- Dirty conditions (soiled diapers and linens, bugs, body fluids and feces on surfaces, etc.)
Lack of Protective Equipment & Critical Medical Supplies
Discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities may extend to medical care. In past pandemics, disabled people have been less likely to receive access to critical medical supplies — especially when medical resources are limited. Many group homes also lack stockpiles of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees.
What Is The Risk?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that many people with disabilities also have a higher risk of COVID-19 infection or severe illness due to underlying medical conditions.
Intellectually disabled adults may not be able to communicate when they are feeling sick. They may be unable to understand how to wash their hands, maintain social distancing, or cover their cough. This can make it extremely challenging to control outbreaks in group homes.
Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Need a COVID-19 Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our law firm for a free case review.