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Orleans County nursing home fined by feds, state for COVID mishandling

Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 18:54:17-05

ORLEANS COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — A nursing home/rehabilitation center in Orleans County is facing one of the largest COVID-19 related fines to date in New York State.

The Villages of Orleans has been fined more than $86,000 for what the state says is “immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety” as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Villages of Orleans, which is privately owned faces a $66,000 fine from the federal government and $20,000 from the state.

In the State Health Profile, an investigation of the facility revealed the home “did not establish and maintain an Infection Control Program to ensure the health and safety of residents to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.”

The document says on multiple occasions, nurses were not wearing proper personal protective equipment when dealing with COVID-19 patients.

The state audit says the nurses and staff cross-contaminated germs to patients who did not have COVID-19.

It says the staff, “passed breakfast trays, assisted with the resident's meal and provided hands on care without wearing PPE and completing proper hand hygiene.”

On multiple occasions it’s alleged the nurses and staff did not remove gloves or provide proper hand hygiene when dealing with COVID positive patients, including delivering food to residents.

One nurse said in an interview during the May investigation, “If we have the PPE, then I wear it but most of the time there is no PPE available on the unit.”

Staff also said proper PPE was locked in the director’s office.

The State Attorney General has an ongoing investigation this facility.