Nursing Home Residents Not Allowed to Leave Their Rooms Due to Norovirus Outbreak

Officials from the Department of Public Health have quarantined a large nursing home due to an outbreak of norovirus.
Several cases of the gastrointestinal illness were also reported at a nearby nursing home last week. The administrator of the facility has called family and friends of residents and told them not to visit, and residents are being told not leave their rooms.

The outbreak, which began on Nov. 6, has already caused 80 residents and staff members to become ill. Two patients have been hospitalized for the illness, but returned to the facility. Norovirus, which is known for its ability to spread rapidly, causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The greatest risk the outbreak poses is dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea in the elderly nursing home patients.

The facility delayed notifying Environmental Health Services (EHS) was due to some initial confusion regarding when the outbreak began. Now EHS must wait until the quarantine has been lifted to investigate the cause of the outbreak. An ombudsman visited the facility after receiving a complaint from a visitor of the facility who said "everything is a mess over there." For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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