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Blountstown nursing home under scrutiny for COVID response

Blountstown Health and Rehabilitation Center is under a moratorium on admissions because of the facility’s handling of COVID-19 cases. (Photo: WJHG)
Blountstown Health and Rehabilitation Center is under a moratorium on admissions because of the facility’s handling of COVID-19 cases. (Photo: WJHG)(WCTV)
Published: May. 21, 2020 at 1:15 PM EDT
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By: Edan Schultz | WCTV Eyewitness News

May 21, 2020

BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WCTV) – Blountstown Health and Rehabilitation Center is under a moratorium on admissions because of the facility’s handling of COVID-19 cases.

The emergency order, which was issued May 13 by Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration, cites a failure by the facility to provide adequate and appropriate healthcare. It says the center’s practices and conditions “present a threat to the health, safety or welfare of residents.”

The order says AHCA investigators found at least 19 staffers at the home came to work reporting one or more symptoms of COVID-19, including coughs, fever, shortness of breath, headache, loss of taste, and muscle aches.

They were all asked to work nonetheless, according to AHCA.

The report also details residents positive for COVID-19 sharing rooms with those who tested negative. At least eight rooms throughout the building, which were outside a dedicated area, housed suspected COVID-19 residents without signs posted and without PPE available, the report said.

The order outlines various other concerns, including improper disposal areas for personal protective equipment, doors open on the rooms of residents in isolation and staff moving between rooms without changing PPE.

As of Thursday, the Florida Department of Health reports 23 residents of the facility have tested positive for COVID-19, along with 10 staff members.

WCTV reached out to nursing home administrators for comment. We have not heard back.

A PDF file of the emergency order has been attached to this article. Desktop users can find it at the top right section of the page, while mobile users can find the PDF at the bottom.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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