The Commons at St. Anthony: Covid-19 Outbreak Infects 137, Kills 24

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The New York nursing home has also received citations for health code violations.

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus has infected 137 residents and killed 24 at The Commons at St. Anthony, a nursing home in Auburn, New York. According to a report on syracuse.com, the outbreak began on December 21, 2020, “as a wave of post-Thanksgiving Covid-19 cases began hitting the county,” per an official overseeing the home’s operations. The outbreak has affected 47 employees. Of the residents who died, 21 died at the nursing home, while three died at the hospital. Prior to the first three deaths that were reported at the nursing home on December 29, 2020, “There had been no nursing home Covid-19 deaths in Cayuga County.” As of the report’s publication on January 9, there have been 2,650 confirmed cases in Cayuga county.

According to the report, the nursing home responded to the pandemic by requiring employees to wear “gowns, gloves and face shields at all times when working with residents,” and isolated positive cases on their own floors. Employees are tested weekly, while residents are tested “on a schedule established by the state Health Department.” An infection by state health authorities found no issues with the nursing home’s infection control policies and procedures.

Records maintained by the Health Department show that as of January 8, 2021, The Commons at St. Anthony had received 27 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020. The citations resulted from a total of six inspections by state surveyors. They include the following:

1. The nursing home did not provide provide treatment and services adequate to prevent and heal pressure ulcers. Under Section 483.25(c) of the Federal Code, that nursing home facilities prevent persons who enter without pressure sores from developing them unless their condition renders such unavoidable; and that residents with pressure sores receive adequate treatment and services. A March 2020 citation found that The Commons at St. Anthony failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that a resident’s pressure ulcer “was not monitored and treated as planned, and the resident required hospitalization for treatment,” resulting in actual harm to the resident. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included an audit of all residents at risk for skin breakdown.

2. The nursing home did not implement adequate measures to prevent residents from sustaining accidents. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code states that nursing home residents are entitled to “adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.” A March 2019 citation found that The Commons at St. Anthony failed to ensure such. The citation states that one resident “was not fed as planned during a meal observation,” and specifically that, among other things, the resident was given large bites of a sandwich when their care plan provided for small bites. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included house-wide education for all nursing staff on aspiration precautions.

3. The nursing home did not take proper infection control procedures. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes must design and maintain an infection control program that provides residents with a safe, sanitary environment. A March 2019 citation found that The Commons at St. Anthony failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that a Licensed Practical Nurse “not practice appropriate hand hygiene or glove changes between feeding” two residents and “after direct contact with oral secretions.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included education of nursing staff to ensure compliance.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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