By Shawn Rader
The CDC has composed guidelines for ALFs to follow during the pandemic to best protect the lives of residents, who by age and preexisting conditions, are most susceptible to the Covid virus. The CDC encourages ALFs to review state guidelines as well, and 27 states have enacted such guidelines specifically for ALFs. The guidelines cover everything from visitors to signs, and emphasize the importance of communication with residents and family members about what the Covid status is in their ALF.
It is well to remember that if Senator McConnell fails to enact a shield from liability for long term care facilities (and others), negligence suits are inevitable, and ALFs should be prepared for them by keeping impeccable records of their efforts and actions taken to comply with both federal and state guidelines, from photographing signs at the entrance to the ALF, to documenting communications sent to inform family members of the existence of Covid cases in their residents or staff. It might even be of help to have one’s liability carrier effect a Zoom conference where the carrier representative can give advice based on past experiences regarding documentation. After all, it is in their best interest to see that the ALF incurs no liability for its actions (or inaction).