NORWICH, CT (WFSB) – A Norwich nursing home has been ordered to close due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases.
State leaders signed an order on Wednesday that will close the Three Rivers nursing home in Norwich.
All 53 residents will be relocated to other licensed nursing homes, but it will have to be done slowly so that they can contain the outbreak.
There are 17 residents who are in a COVID positive unit and will be transferred to another unit. Seven others are under observation.
In a statement on Wednesday, the JACC Health Center in Norwich, which operates Three Rivers Health Care, said, “This is a difficult time for Three Rivers Health Care, our residents and our staff. Since the initial COVID outbreak, We partnered with the State Department of Public Health to bring our facility into full compliance with state and federal regulations, including hiring an Interim Manager to oversee the facility. After an initial assessment, the Interim Manager concluded that to report the structure in substantial compliance within The time frame imposed by regulatory bodies was not feasible due to a number of concerns, including the absence of critical staff Quoting the Interim Manager̵7;s assessment, the Public Health Commissioner ordered that all residents are relocated to other facilities that can safely meet their needs these circumstances support this order and our priority now is to act quickly and safely to relocate the residents to other homes, working closely with their families and loved ones. “
This came after the state’s Department of Public Health last month released the results of an investigation into a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.
RELATED: DPH Investigation Results In “Immediate Danger” After COVID Outbreak At Local Nursing Home
The Department of Public Health announced last month that it would issue a shortage statement for the Three Rivers nursing home.
He had also asked to set up a temporary manager at the facility, but only a few days later, he determined that there was no way to make the facility compliant with the September 30 deadline.
“I’ve never served in a facility that I didn’t think I couldn’t ensure timely compliance,” said Katharine Sacks, the temporary manager.
Sacks said some of the biggest problems were that Three Rivers was severely understaffed and employees lacked adequate training.
Some of the violations relate to how the company handled a COVID-19 outbreak that began weeks ago.
“The temporary manager identified widespread problems in the facility, related to the provision of care and inadequate infection control,” said Deidre Gifford, Commissioner DPH.
As of July 24, DPH officials have said that at least 22 residents and six nursing home staff have been infected with COVID-19. Some of the affected residents had to be hospitalized and four died.
Four of the infected residents died, but Senator Cathy Osten said a fifth died.
“After weeks of communicating my concerns to the administration about this private for-profit facility, I am delighted that Connecticut has made the decision to close Three Rivers Healthcare for the protection of staff and patients. I know the state is. been investigating various nursing homes across Connecticut for months now, and I hope we won’t see the lax infection control procedures, understaffing and lack of staff training repeated anywhere as we have seen at Three Rivers. express my condolences to the family and friends of the five patients who died at Three Rivers. I believe their deaths are unforgivable and totally preventable if proper precautions were taken and standard coronavirus procedures followed, “he said. state senator Cathy Osten.
During the investigation, some of the citations uncovered by DPH officials included: failure to use protective equipment, failure to cohort adequate residents to prevent the spread of the disease, and failure to maintain an accurate list of outbreaks.
The investigation began on Aug.17, which included daily visits, reviews of the facility’s records, and interviews with multiple facility residents and 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 resolve the problems observed at Three Rivers in Norwich. After nearly six months of working with COVID-19 in Connecticut nursing homes and the deaths of thousands of residents, Three Rivers is another example of DPH’s failure to hold nursing homes accountable.
Had the state done a better job enforcing and ensuring compliance with infection controls and other security protocols, including but not limited to engaging an outside manager to detect operations based on the apparent collapse of previous management, DPH may have avoided the drastic measures the state announced today. DPH needs to do better, much better, to ensure that infection control protocols are enforced in every Connecticut nursing home.
The reprehensible management behavior observed at Three Rivers may warrant discharging patients immediately from the facility. But closing the facility isn’t the best outcome for residents and their families, frontline workers, or the community as a whole. By ordering the immediate evacuation of the facility, the actions of the state will most likely ensure the closure of the facility, which will allow the operator to be released from trouble for the irresponsible administrative decisions that accelerated COVID-19 infections. Residents will now suffer relocations in the midst of a pandemic. Residents who have been cared for by these dedicated workers for years will need to find another place they can call “home” and establish new relationships with staff. Today’s announcement also means that dozens of frontline workers who have been brave enough to keep showing up every day at Three Rivers to care for residents may face job loss. While action is needed, we believe alternative measures were available that would have ensured the safety of residents and provided a path for the nursing home to return to compliance with a new administration. “
Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.