Monday, May 25, 2020

Ohio state bill would shield businesses, health care providers from COVID-19-related lawsuits

Ohio state bill would shield businesses, health care providers from COVID-19-related lawsuits
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By Sara Goldenberg

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - New state legislation could shield businesses and health care providers from lawsuits related to the pandemic.

Lawmakers behind the bill said it will protect businesses and health care providers from overwhelming litigation.

But opponents said it authorizes unsafe conduct.

19 Investigates spoke to a nursing home advocate who said if the bill passes, there will be no accountability and protection for people who need it the most.

Senate bill 308 was just introduced last week.

The bill says businesses and health care providers won't be liable for illnesses or deaths from their actions during a "declared disaster."

According to the bill, you would have to prove harm was intentional, not just reckless.

Sen. Matt Huffman (R- Lima) authored the bill, and there are four other cosponsors.

19 News spoke to State Senator Kristina Roegner (R- Hudson) over the phone, one of the cosponsors.

“One thing I think that some businesses might be worried about is if they were to open and this weren't in place and someone were to go to their shop or whatever and a few days later, come down sick, would they be sued? This bill would provide them some of that cover and protection,” she said.

This bill would be retroactive, kicking in when the disaster was declared and lasting 180 days after the emergency ends.

“The legislative intent to this is to provide toward action immunity, to folks that are trying to do the job to the best of their ability, whether it's the healthcare industry or in retail,” Roegner said.

19 Investigates found about 30 organizations support the bill, from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce to the Ohio Hospital Association.

Paula Mueller, founder of Elderly Advocates, is against the bill.

She said it's moving forward so quickly, they weren't able to testify against it today.

“I thought, this is going to encourage poor care, absolutely. Because we're not talking about life or death situations with this COVID crisis, we're talking they can just be reckless. They cannot feed somebody, they cannot give somebody water. They can intentionally do something, and not be held responsible,” she said.

Mueller said this protects nursing homes far more than their residents.

“There’s more concern over economic impact and nursing homes going out of business, over the safety and well-being of residents,” she said.

Mueller worries our elderly and their families will be left without any recourse against nursing homes if something goes very wrong.

“There's such a high level to prove that something's wrong, a wrongful act was done, that it's very hard already to prove it. So now we're going to give them an extra layer of protection? It doesn't seem right to me,” she said.

Mueller is starting a task force to fight the bill. She’s reaching out to family members of nursing home residents.

“I urge them to write their senators, and let them know that this is not fair or right, and this will promote poor care,” she said.

19 Investigates asked Sen. Roegner to respond to Mueller’s concerns.

“Nothing in here is intended at all to provide cover for anyone that would cause harm or death to anybody else, absolutely not,” she said.

“We’re in this together Ohio, certainly we take the pandemic and the illnesses very seriously,” Roegner said.

“But at the same time, we also need to balance keeping our economy going.”

We spoke to local nursing home abuse attorney William Eadie of Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers to get his reaction to the bill.

Eadie said this bill "protects bad guys, not businesses” and it's a "green light for unsafe, unsanitary behavior."

He said if it passes, it will “authorize unsafe conduct and mismanagement of nursing home facilities.”

Senate bill 308 must pass through committee before it heads to a vote in the Senate and over to the House.

Full Article & Source:
Ohio state bill would shield businesses, health care providers from COVID-19-related lawsuits

Three Years ago Today My Husband was Admitted to the Hospital That KILLED Him

My Mission:End Palliative/Hospice Care,ILLEGAL Euthanasia,Killing our Loved ones.No Consent,no treatment,denied the right to LIVE.Patients/family's wishes denied,put on P/H unknowingly, against their will.Next mission:End Sepsis and hold Hospitals accountable for patients who contract Sepsis, My husband was denied antibiotics by a P/C APRN and then denied she was responsible,causing my husbands death. Hold on tight to your loved ones and steer clear of this Nashua Hospital if you want to live!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Three Years ago Today My Husband was Admitted to the Hospital That KILLED Him. St. Joseph's.The Hospital of Death, Sepsis Central. The Hospital he went to to get treatment, but got nothing but overdosed with Morphine by The Circle of Life (Death) Palliative care Doctor from Canada, where Medical Murder of our Loved ones is practiced daily. Overdosed by a Doctor who was neither wanted nor consented to.

Refusal of Hospice/Palliative care by the patient at this Hospital means absolutely nothing. Non-consensual Hospice/Palliative care is forced on un-knowing patient's along with ILLEGAL, NON-consensual DNR's. My Husband was just one of many patient's this Hospital Medically Murdered. He asked for treatment and adamantly stated he did NOT want to die, but they killed him any way. He refused Hospice/Palliative care, but against his and our family's will he was put on it any way. We were never told. We were never told of the illnesses they found through almost daily lab work, nor was he treated for anything. He had a UTI that we were never told about which was left untreated. The UTI and ALL the pressure ulcers all the way down his back ultimately killed him as he ended up with Sepsis. Again, we were never told. He was started on antibiotics and then all of a sudden they were stopped. We had no clue why. The Palliative care Nurse Practitioner, who is now the Director of  Cancer Services was responsible. She denied everything including ordering ALL treatment stopped, but my Husband's Medical file told a different story. She wasn't even his Doctor and had no business giving any order's concerning my Husband. She is also the one who ordered the ILLEGAL DNR and the NH Medical Board refuses to do anything and neither does the State of NH. The Medical Board admitted the DNR was ILLEGAL, but they said it was due to miscommunication. So does that give them the right to Murder my Husband and NOT be held accountable? They ALL belong in jail. Let's see how they like their new sucky lives!

I Love you My Knight and always will! 
Extremely Pissed Off Wife of Bill Knightly, Murdered by NON-consensual Hospice/Palliative care at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, NH

Full Article & Source:
Three Years ago Today My Husband was Admitted to the Hospital That KILLED Him

George, Josephine and Georgie Baltzer of Albertson: 'They had so much love for each other'

Josephine Baltzer with her son, George Jr., and hushand, George Sr., in an undated photo. Credit: Baltzer Family
By Barbara Barker

For 62 years, they were rarely apart.

Josephine and George Baltzer brought their son, George Jr., everywhere they went, whether it be to the grocery store or on a trip to Europe.

They went out to dinner with other couples as a threesome. Georgie, as many called him, was an enthusiastic regular at the bingo game his mother ran. In nearly every family photo taken over the years, Josephine and Georgie are next to each other holding hands.

“They would get wedding invitations addressed to Mr. and Mrs. George Baltzer and Georgie,” said Georgie’s sister, Rosalie Woska, 51, of Roslyn Heights. “They were a triangle. The world wasn’t complete without all three of them.”

Now, within the span of five months, the world has lost all three.

George Sr. died after complications from pneumonia on Dec. 15. He was 87. Josephine and Georgie still had one another, however, and were living in adjacent rooms at Oyster Bay Manor, an assisted living facility in Oyster Bay.

And then last month, mother and son both came down with COVID-19 and died two days apart. Josephine, who had raised her family of five children in Albertson, died April 23 at Oyster Bay Manor. She was 83. Two days later, unaware that his mother had passed, Georgie died at Glen Cove Hospital. He was 62.

“They really are a special story,” said Georgie’s sister Lorraine Baltzer, 60, of Carle Place. “There is not a single person who ever met Georgie that did not love him. And they had so much love for each other. For my entire life, the three of them were always together.”

Josephine and Georgie Baltzer were interred together next to George Sr. at a mausoleum at Mount St. Mary Cemetery in Queens on May 14.

Josephine was born in Queens Village on April 13, 1937, and graduated high school from The Mary Louis Academy in Queens. When she was in high school, a new boy moved into the house whose backyard abutted hers. She thought he was cute.

“Dad moved in and she would go out in her bathing suit and squirt the hose over the fence to get his attention,” said Lorraine Baltzer.

The couple married, started a family and moved to Albertson. Georgie, their eldest, had some developmental disabilities, but nothing that ever stopped him from being included in everything the family did. One of their favorite activities was to go fishing in the morning out on their boat, which was named the Salty Seven.

Josephine Baltzer encouraged all of her children to follow their passions. Lorraine Baltzer became a nurse; Rosalie Woska, a teacher; Michael Baltzer, 57, of East Williston, an airline pilot; and Stephen Baltzer, 59, of Baldwin, an accomplished woodworker. For years, Georgie’s biggest passion was the CB radio. Not only did he get the whole family involved, but he also made friends all over the country while talking to truckers and others on the road.

George Sr. was a pressman who worked at the New York Daily News for 46 years before retiring in 1996. Josephine held several jobs, including working as bookkeeper for the Town of North Hempstead. Georgie also worked 10 years as a custodian for North Hempstead.

After their retirements, the three moved to Jupiter, Florida, in the winter and spent the summers in the Poconos.

“Everywhere they went, George was like the mayor,” Michael Baltzer said of his brother. “When my parents volunteered at a thrift shop at the hospital, he would go with them and be the one who greeted everyone at the front door. Everywhere you went, everyone knew him.”

The three moved back to Long Island in 2016 to be closer to the rest of their family. They eventually settled into Oyster Bay Manor, an assisted living facility that was able to take in all three of them.

After years of taking care of Georgie, the family said it was particularly hard on their mother when she contracted the coronavirus.

“Mom was having trouble letting go,” Woska said. “I got on the phone and said, ‘Don’t worry mom, we’ll take care of Georgie.’ As soon as I said his name, she stopped breathing.

"I literally hung up the phone and the hospital called to say Georgie had taken a turn for the worse. ... I think they just all had to be together.”

Other survivors include Josephine Baltzer's brother, Anthony Varvaro of Fort Lauderdale, and the couple's 13 grandchildren.

Full Article & Source:
George, Josephine and Georgie Baltzer of Albertson: 'They had so much love for each other'

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Pennsylvania health official draws fire after her mother leaves care facility as coronavirus patients return

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine defended herself Wednesday after reports that her 95-year-old mother relocated from a care facility after Levine said such centers could begin accepting coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals.

Cases of the virus in nursing homes have skyrocketed in Pennsylvania, with about two-thirds of the state's 3,800 deaths being residents of long-term care facilities, PennLive reported.

"My mother requested and my sister and I, as her children, complied to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak," Levine said in a news conference, according to Harrisburg's WHTM-TV. “My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions."

But Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano called for Levine’s resignation this week over her handling of nursing home outbreaks, specifically a policy calling for nursing home residents hospitalized with the virus to be returned to the care centers once they’re ready to leave the hospital, according to PennLive.

“Our secretary of health, Dr. Levine, decided that it would be good to allow COVID-positive patients to be returned to elder-care facilities. And as a result of that, it broke out like fire,” Mastriano said during a protest rally Monday.
“Our secretary of health, Dr. Levine, decided that it would be good to allow COVID-positive patients to be returned to elder-care facilities. And as a result of that, it broke out like fire.”
— Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, Republican
Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, defended Levine.

“Dr. Levine has done a phenomenal job of making sure that we do what we need to do in keeping Pennsylvanians safe,” he said, according to PennLive. “I think it’s a tribute to her that Pennsylvania has actually done a better job than many of our surrounding states in terms of the infection rate and the death rate.”

Levine announced a strategy this week to help protect care facility residents, which includes mobilizing Pennsylvania's National Guard to provide testing for places unable to do it themselves. And facilities will be required to report testing, cases and deaths using the same system as hospitals.

Levine said all residents who are hospitalized will be tested for the virus before returning home.

“By testing every resident and every staff member in every nursing home, we will be able to pinpoint exactly who has COVID-19, who has been exposed but has no symptoms, and cohort positive cases to prevent further spread,” she said, according to WHTM.

Full Article & Source:
Pennsylvania health official draws fire after her mother leaves care facility as coronavirus patients return

Former St. Pete trust attorney charged with stealing $279,000 from client

St. Petersburg police said he had been hired to oversee a trust valued at more than $700,000.

Darce Jay Snyder, 68, faces a charge of grand theft. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
By Chris Tisch

A St. Petersburg man who worked as a trust attorney has been arrested and charged with stealing nearly $279,000 from a client.

Darce Jay Snyder, 68, faces a charge of grand theft.

St. Petersburg police said he had been hired to oversee a trust valued at more than $700,000. When his client turned 50 and obtained control of the trust’s assets, she found that Snyder had stolen $279,000 between February and May of 2015. He stole by the money by writing checks from the trust to himself, arrest reports state.

Bay News 9 is reporting that the victim is Valerie Sexton-Maher, 50. She told the station that the trust is actually empty, and that prosecutors can’t charge him for stealing the entire amount because of the statute of limitations.

“Unfortunately, you can’t always trust a trustee on an account,” she told Bay News 9. “They are very good at hiding money.

“What he was charged with is not the full extent of what he took from me,” she added. “At the beginning of the trustee account, there was close to a million dollars in it and that was when my mother passed away in 2001. So, at a conservative rate of interest we would be talking about millions.

“It’s beyond upsetting. It makes me sad that unfortunately my mother trusted this person and thought that he was going to do the right thing for me,” she said. “I’ve prided myself on not touching any money from that trust until I needed it… I planned on using it for my retirement. I’ve had some health issues in the last couple of years and… that money would be a big deal for me now and I don’t have it.”

Snyder’s law license was revoked by the Florida Supreme Court in 2018 after he was accused of withdrawing $1 million in advance fees from another client, according to Bay News 9.

Snyder was being held at the Pinellas County jail on $150,000 bail. An assistant public defender has entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Full Article & Source:
Former St. Pete trust attorney charged with stealing $279,000 from client

Families Caring For Dementia Patients See Critical Routines Upended By COVID

Terri Mulliken (r) and her wife Kelly (l) pose for a photo outside of their home in Andover, Mass., on May 10, 2020. Mulliken is the primary caregiver for her wife, who was diagnosed a year ago with early-onset dementia.
Meredith Nierman/WGBH News
By Chris Burrell

Family members caring for a parent or spouse with dementia are fighting new battles during the coronavirus pandemic as they try to enforce rules of hygiene and social distancing with loved ones who can’t always grasp how high the stakes are.

“The idea of telling someone with Alzheimer's disease that they need to quarantine in their room and stay in there is almost impossible,” said Nicole McGurin, the head of family services at the Massachusetts-New Hampshire chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

That organization estimates there are more than 300,000 people in Massachusetts caring for a family member at home with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Terri Mulliken is one of them. She’s the primary caregiver for her wife, Kelly, who was diagnosed a year ago with early-onset dementia.

Their old routines in Andover before the pandemic are now mostly gone: fewer walks and no more grocery shopping trips together or visits with friends. The fear of getting infected has replaced all that, said Mulliken.

“The biggest thing is the hygiene,” she said. “One time she felt she had something in her mouth, so with the dirty gloves on, she grabbed whatever was in her mouth. I'm like, ‘Kelly, no, no, no, don't do that.’ She just doesn't get it.”

Mulliken is worried that Kelly could get COVID-19 and that it could be what ends her life — at just 59. Mulliken is also worried about her own health and what would happen if she were the one to be infected.

Terri Mulliken (l) and her wife Kelly (r) hold hands while posing for a photo outside of their home in Andover, Mass., on May 10, 2020. Mulliken is the primary caregiver for her wife, who was diagnosed a year ago with early-onset dementia.
Meredith Nierman/WGBH News
“What would happen to Kelly, who would take care of her? We have no family in this state whatsoever,” she said.

A monthly support group for caregivers is now operating online, and Mulliken called it a lifeline, a connection to people who understand the pressure and anxiety she’s facing.

Elder advocates said the new burdens on caregivers from coronavirus are compounded by dwindling sources of respite and help. There’s been a steep decline in the demand for home health aides as caregivers are fearful of letting outsiders into their homes.

There’s also no back-up or relief from local senior centers and adult daycare programs. Most have been shut down since March.

“That's a huge change in the routine for their loved one, but also for the break that they used to get from their caregiving,” said McGurin, adding that the pandemic has upended carefully orchestrated strategies for both caregivers and their family members.

People with dementia need dependable routines to reduce their confusion, anxiety and agitation.

“The way they kept that routine was maybe going to Dunkin' Donuts once a day or going to the mall to walk,” McGurin said. “With social distancing, those kinds of options for routine and for engagement are very limited.”

And they are getting less exercise, which leads to greater health risks, especially for elders who are already losing muscle mass, said Dr. Sarah McGee, who teaches geriatric medicine at UMass Medical School in Worcester. People with dementia have a higher risk of risk of fall injuries like hip fractures, and “any loss of strength is going to increase their risk of falling,” said McGee.

Looking ahead, McGee said caregivers are going to be in a bind as the needs of their family members with Alzheimer’s and dementia increase.

Caregivers often decide to move a parent or spouse into a nursing facility when incontinence or immobility issues become unmanageable at home.

But long-term care facilities in the state have been hotbeds for COVID-19 infections among both residents and staff and have seen more than 2,500 deaths since March. Dementia patients in nursing facilities are also at a high risk for infection for the same reasons that cause caregivers like Mulliken so much stress: They wander and they don’t understand all the new rules of the pandemic.

“People are going to be very reluctant to think about a nursing facility for their loved one during this crisis and for some time,” McGee said.

Full Article & Source:
Families Caring For Dementia Patients See Critical Routines Upended By COVID

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Walt Disney's grandson Brad Lund, 50, criticizes bonuses for executives after the company furloughed 100,000 workers during coronavirus shutdown

  • Walt Disney's grandson Brad Lund, 50, hit out at the company's executives over claims they will receive large bonuses
  • The company had furloughed 100,000 workers and ended their pay after parks shuttered up because of the coronavirus pandemic  
  • Lund said he hoped 'all family members will join in our dismay over senior Disney management compensation levels' 
  • The Disney heir is in the midst of his own decade-long legal case regarding his inheritance 
  • A Disney spokesperson said Wednesday 'there is no truth to any speculation about bonus payments'
  • On Wednesday, Walt Disney World allowed some third-party shops and restaurants to open at its entertainment complex in Disney Springs in Florida
  • It is the first step in reopening since gates were closed mid-March 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Walt Disney's grandson has hit out at the company's executives over claims they will still receive large bonuses despite furloughing tens of thousands of workers during the coronavirus shutdown.

Brad Lund, who is currently in a decade-long legal battle regarding his inheritance, told The Daily Beast of his 'dismay' over the alleged compensation.

'I have already expressed my hope that the Disney organization continue to give reasonable compensation and support to its many loyal employees in the spirit of the company of which my grandfather was so proud,' the 50-year-old said.

'To me, it's the right thing to do during these difficult times—for the company, for shareholders, for its loyal employees.' 

Waly Disney's grandson Brad Lund, pictured, has said he is dismayed at 'senior Disney management compensation levels while furloughing Disney workers at this critical time'
Disney parks around the world remain closed amid the coronavirus pandemic and the company is estimated to have lost $500million last month before staff were furloughed
He added that he hoped 'all family members will join in our dismay over senior Disney management compensation levels while furloughing Disney workers at this critical time'.

A spokesperson for the Walt Disney Company told, however, that 'there is no truth to any speculation about bonus payments.  

‘The facts are that the decision to furlough was not made lightly and was one of myriad actions taken to help the company weather the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,' the spokesperson added. 

'The company paid full salaries to workers who were unable to perform their duties for five weeks before beginning furloughs, which, unlike layoffs, allow them to remain Disney employees and receive their full health care benefits, paid for by the company.

'Furloughs occurred across a variety of our businesses, and for those employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, furloughs were agreed to by their unions.'

On Wednesday, Walt Disney World allowed some third-party shops and restaurants to open at its entertainment complex in Disney Springs in Florida.

These are the first signs of reopening since mid-March but there has been no plan yet announced to reopen theme parks and hotels at their resorts.

In April, Walt Disney Corporation stopped paying 100,000 operational employees after placing them on furlough because of the prolonged coronavirus shutdowns.

Employees would still receive health insurance from Disney but were added to the millions more filing for unemployment across the United States.

The move from the world's biggest entertainment company - which has parks in the US, France, China, Hong Kong and Japan - affected half its workforce.

The company was said to have lost $500million in March after closures. 

The company placed 100,000 workers on furlough and ended their pay as parks remained closed. Disney heirs Brad Lund and Abigail Disney have hit out at the decision
The move angered Disney heiress Abigail Disney, however, who Lund has now come out in support of.

'I agree with my cousin Abigail's sentiments,' he said to the Daily Beast.

Shortly after the Hollywood giant announced the furloughs, Abigail launched into a fiery tirade on Twitter in which she condemned the company for continuing to pay out executive bonuses and dividends, which have totaled $1.5 billion in the past.

The heiress, 60, argued that this money could pay for three months' salary to its frontline workers now feeling the financial impact of the pandemic. 

While no decision on Disney's dividend had been announced, she criticized a move to pay out in July, claiming that '80% of shares are owned by the wealthiest 10%' and the money would be received by people who have 'already been collecting egregious bonuses for years'.

Disney heir Abigail launched a fiery Twitter thread in April in which she condemned alleged compensation received by company executives and said the company 'must do better'. A spokesperson for the company has denied 'speculation about bonus payments'
The heiress, 60, argued that this money could pay for three months' salary to its frontline workers now feeling the financial impact of the pandemic during her Twitter tirade
The activist also commented on the announcement in March that top Disney executives were forgoing their salary considering the current crisis. 

Former chief executive Bob Iger gave up the remainder of his $3million salary for this year and his replacement Bob Chapek said he'd only take half of his $2.5million base salary, as a show of solidarity.

Bonuses these executives could receive were highlighted, however, as they greatly exceed their salaries.

Executive bonus schemes are in place at the company and are believed to be worth about 900 times the average $52,000 salary. Iger got $65.6million in incentives in 2018 and $46million in 2019.

Chapek's bonus is expected to be about 300 percent of his salary. In addition, he could bring home 'not less than $15 million' in long-term incentives.

The 69-year-old is said to have raked in $47.5 million last year.

A Walt Disney spokesperson has now denied the speculation about the bonus payments, however. 

'Senior leaders across the company accepted deep salary cuts, with our CEO forgoing half his salary and our executive chairman forgoing his entire salary for 2020,' the spokesperson told 

'There is no truth to any speculation about bonus payments. 

'Compensation for executives is closely tied to the company’s financial performance—more than 90% of total compensation for the CEO last year was performance-based—and decisions on compensation aren’t made by the Board until the end of the year. 

'So it is premature and irresponsible to speculate about bonus compensation—especially in May, during a global pandemic.'

The heiress hit out at Disney CEO Bob Chapek's (left) and Chairman Bob Iger (right) who she claimed would still receive large bonuses despite the furloughing of staff. Both said they would not take their full salary for the remainder of the year at the start of the coronavirus outbreak
The public rebuke from Lund comes as he pushes forward with a legal case surrounding his mother's estate and claims he was pushed out of his inheritance.

In June 2019, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David J. Cowan ruled that Lund lacked the maturity and financial ability to manage his inheritance.

'Do I want to give $200 million, effectively, to someone who may suffer, on some level, from Down syndrome? The answer is no,' Judge Cown said.

The judge was requested to retract the statement as a 2016 DNA test proved Lund cannot suffer from Down Syndrome, but he refused.

Judge Cowan also refused to sign off on a multi-million-dollar settlement for all parties.

It came after a 2014 ruling in Arizona in which a judge said Lund was competent to manange the money.

His stepsisters had filed a petition in 2009 to appoint a conservator due to alleged mental incompetence. His twin sister Michelle also joined the action later, claiming that her father and stepmother had undue influence.

Disney theme parks have been shuttered since mid-March but they began to open restaurants in Disney Springs from Wednesday.

The company issued a blunt warning for visitors, saying anyone who visited the complex assumed all the risk if they fell ill with COVID-19.

'An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present,' the company said on its web site.

Disney Springs, the entertainment and shopping complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, will begin a partial reopening on Wednesday. Disney and unions representing workers reached an agreement on safeguards to protect employees from the coronavirus, a union statement said on Thursday, removing one of the company's hurdles to reopening
Disney issued a disclaimer warning guests to Disney Springs that they assume all risk of contracting COVID-19 while at the facilities which began to open on Wednesday
'COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable,' the warning added.

'By visiting Disney Springs, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.'
All workers and visitors over age 2 will be required to wear face masks at Disney Springs.

Workers and visitors also will have to get temperature checks and anyone with a temperature over 100.4 degrees will be denied entry.

The number of guests allowed in will be limited to encourage social distancing, and extra hand sanitizer and hand washing stations will be in place, the company said.

After negotiating with the company, the unions that represent more than half of the 77,000 employees at Disney World said last week that workers who contract COVID-19 will get paid time off while in quarantine.

Workers with virus symptoms also can stay home without being disciplined for being absent.

Workers will be given thermometers if they want them, and each worker will be given three face masks, according to the agreed-upon terms.

Disney and unions representing workers at Florida's Walt Disney World reached an agreement on safeguards to protect employees from the coronavirus, a union statement said on Thursday, removing one of the company's hurdles to reopening its popular theme parks.

The company said next week, third-party operating participants would open at Disney Springs and later this month three stores and venues owned and operated by Disney - World of Disney, D-Luxe Burger and the Marketplace Co-Op - would reopen.

'While our theme parks and resort hotels remain temporarily closed, the phased reopening of Disney Springs is a welcome milestone as we navigate through this unprecedented time together as responsibly as we can,' Disney Springs Vice President Matt Simon said in a statement.

The entertainment giant said it was implementing safety measures and operational changes such as cashless or contactless payment options, a requirement to wear 'appropriate' face covering, temperature screenings, social distancing practices, increased cleaning and disinfection procedures.

In the United States, Florida is ahead of California, home to Disneyland, in reopening businesses that were closed starting in mid-March.

Shutting theme park gates cost the company $1billion from January through March, Disney said earlier this month.

Walt Disney Company will partially reopen Disney Springs shopping and entertainment complex on Wednesdy, May 20
Parking and Entrances – Parking will be limited to the Orange and Lime garages. All surface parking lots will be closed.

At this time there will only be 4 entrances to Disney Springs: 

Orange Garage

Lime Garages

Hotel Plaza Boulevard Pedestrian Bridge

Rideshare location 

Temperature Screening – All guests and Cast Members (employees) must undergo temperature screening upon arrival. 

Screening locations will be the second floor level of the Orange and Lime parking garages and the Marketplace Entrance.

Guests with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed entrance based on guidance from the health authorities. 

The same applies for Cast Members.

Physical Barriers – In order to limit physical contact between guests and Cast Members, physical barriers have been added in certain locations. These include: cash registers, Guest Relations, etc.

Face Coverings – All Guests 3 years and older, Cast Members and other employees are required to wear face coverings at all times. The only exception is while dining.

Cashless Transactions – Cash transactions will be discouraged. Guests should use contactless payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, Apply Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.

Cleaning and Sanitization – The Disney Springs staff has increased its cleaning and sanitization of all high-traffic areas including tables, doors, benches, handrails, escalators, restrooms and more.
There are also new handwashing stations that have been installed throughout Disney Springs that guests are encouraged to use.

Cast Training – Disney Springs staff has been trained to employ physical distancing and will continue to receive training to improve protocols.

Signs/Queues – Queues for restaurants and shops must be respected. Signs will be installed telling guests where to stand and what guidelines to follow in the various locations.

Full Article & Source:
Walt Disney's grandson Brad Lund, 50, criticizes bonuses for executives after the company furloughed 100,000 workers during coronavirus shutdown

Habersham Medical Center responds to DCH nursing home report

Habersham Home West
Editor’s Note: The following press release was issued by Habersham Medical Center Wednesday in response to a report from the Department of Community Health showing that 47 of its 62 nursing home residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Ten Habersham Home residents have died.

Habersham Home is the licensed, 84-bed skilled nursing facility operated by Habersham Medical Center (HMC). The facility has two locations on HMC’s campus. Habersham Home East is located inside of the hospital, and Habersham Home West is located in a separate building adjacent to the hospital.

As concerns began escalating about the coronavirus pandemic in early March, HMC was one of the first hospitals in Georgia to make swift and decisive decisions to safeguard Habersham Home residents and staff.

Through intense education, screening, monitoring, and infection prevention management, the hospital enacted a series of aggressive measures to limit exposure and transmission of COIVD-19. One of the first policies implemented was a “No Visitors” stance, meaning no outside visitors were permitted on campus to visit patients in the hospital or residents of the nursing home. This stance is still in place until further notice.

Additionally, and in adherence to guidance provided by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Habersham Home began and continues to screen employees, healthcare providers, vendors, consultants, contractors and others who provide care and services to Habersham Home residents.

Before HMC confirmed its first COVID-19 positive case at Habersham Home, hospital leadership enlisted the National Guard in mid-April to sanitize and disinfect Habersham Home. This is a service the National Guard has offered to over 200 nursing homes in Georgia.

Despite every effort and safeguard put in place, transmissions of the virus began impacting both residents and staff of Habersham Home. Unlike the majority of long term care facilities in Georgia and across the country, as the number of COVID-19 positive cases began escalating, Habersham Medical Center took an aggressively, proactive approach to test every resident and staff member of Habersham Home regardless of symptoms. Habersham Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in the state to take this approach which yields a more accurate impact of COVID-19 and provides an exact number of how many people are actually affected.

HMC enlisted the National Guard to facilitate the testing that was conducted on May 13, 2020. 151 tests were administered. The test results were analyzed by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the results concluded that 47 of the 62 residents at Habersham Home tested positive for COVID-19.

More than 50% of the residents were asymptomatic at the time of the testing, meaning they did not show any symptoms of illness. Family members were notified immediately.

Throughout HMC’s response to COVID-19, ten residents who were COVID-19 positive have passed away. While these residents were positive, their deaths cannot be directly attributed to the Coronavirus as several were receiving hospice care. It is important to emphasize that, statistically, the Habersham Home death rate is relatively flat despite the continued threats associated with the Coronavirus.

As a part of the National Guard’s testing efforts, 41 of 89 Habersham Home employees tested positive for COVID-19. Again, over 50% of the employees were asymptomatic. According to guidelines provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health, these employees will quarantine at home for 10 days.

National Guard members disinfect a
public area at a nursing home in
Southwest Georgia.  (photo courtesy
Georgia Army National Guard)
Following the testing conducted by the National Guard, HMC has been working closely with the DPH and, together, have developed a comprehensive response plan which has three key components related to staffing, facility sanitization, and testing.

To ensure Habersham Home is equipped to provide exceptional quality healthcare with the federally mandated staff-to-resident ratio, HMC will access and utilize state provided staffing resources. HMC is also redeploying clinical staff from the hospital to cover shifts at Habersham Home as needed. 

Hospital leadership has also reengaged the National Guard to conduct widespread sanitizing and disinfecting of both Habersham Home East and West. HMC will continue to aggressively and frequently test all residents and staff.

“As the world continues to grapple with the Coronavirus Pandemic, the elderly will continue to be a vulnerable population to this extremely contagious disease,” says Tyler Williams, Habersham Medical Center’s incoming Chief Executive Officer. “However, protecting our residents’ health and safety is our top priority and we will take every possible measure to minimize any potential exposure to the virus.”

“While universal testing of all residents and staff is not being conducted at all long-term care facilities, HMC leadership stands behind this method as it is the most effective known strategy to use to determine the true impact of COVID-19. Having this data will guide the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 crisis,” says Williams.

Full Article & Source:
Habersham Medical Center responds to DCH nursing home report

Detroit police make arrest after video of elder abuse goes viral

Detroit — Police made an arrest Thursday after a video circulating on social media appeared to show a man punching elderly victims lying in bed.

Police said in a statement that they are holding a 20-year-old man in connection to the assault and battery of an elderly male at a nursing home on Detroit’s west side.

A screenshot from a video that went viral showing a suspect abusing an elderly man. Detroit Police acknowledged that the sharing of the video helped them track down and arrest the suspect. (Photo: Twitter)
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the department is investigating the incident that allegedly occurred at Westwood Nursing Center on the city's northwest side.

"The nursing home was unaware of the assault until they saw the video," Craig said during a press conference Thursday. "We are still investigating that aspect of the case, but we do have a suspect in custody."

 A video had been posted on social media and shared several times by concerned citizens of an incident that allegedly occurred on May 15. Police said both the 75-year-old male victim and the suspect are patients at the nursing home located in the 16500 block of Schaefer.

The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The suspect was taken into custody at the nursing home and transported to the Detroit Detention Center (DDC) without incident. Detroit Police is still investigating. Ann Arbor Police Department and the Washtenaw County Sheriffs Office helped in the case. 

Full Article & Source:
Detroit police make arrest after video of elder abuse goes viral