NORWICH, CT (WFSB) – The closure of a nursing home in Norwich has been ordered due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases.
State leaders on Wednesday signed an order closing the Three Rivers nursing home in Norwich.
All 53 residents will be moved to other licensed nursing homes, but will have to move slowly so they can contain the outbreak.
There are 17 residents who are in a positive unit at COVID and will be transferred to another unit. Another seven are under observation.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Norwich JACC Health Center, which operates Three Rivers Health Care, said it was “a difficult time for Three Rivers Health Care, our residents and our staff. , we have been cooperating with the State Department of Public Health to fully comply with our facilities with state and federal regulations, including the commitment of a temporary manager to oversee the facility.After an initial assessment , the temporary manager concluded that the recovery of the facility would be substantial within the timeframe set by the regulatory bodies was not feasible due to a number of concerns, including the absence of critical staff.Citing the temporary manager̵7;s assessment, the Commissioner of Public Health has ordered that all residents be transferred to other facilities that can safely meet their needs.In these circumstances we support this order. Our priority now is to act safely and quickly to move residents to other homes, working closely with their families and loved ones. “
This comes after last month the state Department of Public Health released the findings of an investigation into an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility.
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The Department of Public Health had announced the issuance of a declaration of deficiency for the Three Rivers nursing home last month.
He had also requested that a temporary manager be made available at the facility, but a few days later determined that there was no way to complete the facility before 30 September.
“I’ve never served in a facility that I don’t think I could meet on time,” said Katharine Sacks, the temporary manager.
Sacks said some of the major issues were that Three Rivers had a shortage of staff and that employees did not have adequate training.
Some of the violations deal with how the company handled an outbreak of COVID-19 that began weeks ago.
“The temporary manager identified widespread problems at the facility as they are related to the provision of care for inadequate infection control,” said Dephre Gifford, DPH commissioner.
As of July 24, DPH officials said at least 22 residents and six staff members of the nursing home were infected with COVID-19. Some of the affected residents needed to be hospitalized and four died.
Four of the infected residents died, but Senator Cathy Osten said there was a fifth who died.
“After weeks of communicating my concerns to management about this privately run for-profit facility, I’m glad Connecticut has made the decision to close Three Rivers Healthcare to protect staff and patients. I know the I have been researching several Connecticut nursing homes for months and I hope that lax infection control procedures, lack of staff and lack of staff training are not repeated anywhere as we have seen in Three Rivers. My condolences to the family and friends of the five patients who have died in Three Rivers. I believe their deaths are inexcusable and would have been completely preventable if proper precautions had been taken and standard coronavirus procedures had been followed, ” state senator Cathy Osten.
During the investigation, some of the appointments found by DPH officials included: not using protective equipment, not properly cohorting residents to prevent the spread of the disease, and not maintaining an accurate list of outbreaks.
The investigation began on Aug. 17, which included daily visits, reviews of facility records, and interviews with multiple residents and facility staff.
See the full report by clicking here.
The SEUI1199 union also issued a statement saying “We are extremely disappointed that the Department of Public Health has not been able to intervene sooner and do better to address the problems observed at Three Rivers in Norwich. After nearly six months working with COVID-19 in Connecticut nursing homes, and after the deaths of thousands of residents, Three Rivers is another example of DPH’s failure to hold nursing homes accountable.
If the state had done a better job implementing and ensuring compliance with infection controls and other security protocols, including, among other things, the incorporation of an external manager to take over operations based on the apparent collapse of previous management, it is possible that DPH has avoided the drastic measures that the state has announced today. The DPH needs to do better, much better, to ensure that infection control protocols are applied to all Connecticut nursing homes.
The reprehensible management behavior observed at Three Rivers may merit medical discharge of patients immediately from the facility. But closing the facility is not the best outcome for residents and their families, for front-line workers, or for the community at large. By ordering the immediate evacuation of the facility, the actions of the State will in all probability ensure the closure of the facility, which will allow the operator to be released due to irresponsible administrative decisions that accelerated COVID infections. -19. Residents will now suffer transfers in the midst of a pandemic. Residents who were cared for by these dedicated workers for years will have to find another place they can call “home” and establish new relationships with staff. Today’s announcement also means dozens of front-line workers who were brave enough to continue running daily at Three Rivers to care for residents may suffer job losses. While action needs to be taken, we believe there were alternative measures available that would have ensured the safety of residents and provided a way for the elderly people’s residence to be re-enforced under a new administration. “
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