California nursing home fined $59K for not properly protecting staff from COVID-19

Fremont (Calif.) Healthcare Center was fined $59,000 by California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health for not properly protecting its staff from COVID-19, reports Mercury News.

California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued five citations to the skilled nursing facility, four of which were deemed "serious" and one categorized as "regulatory."

The center failed to "implement and maintain effective procedures" to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure, according to Cal/OSHA. The agency recorded the violations during inspections occurring between June 30, 2020, and Jan. 13, 2021.

Fremont Healthcare Center also "failed to immediately report" to Cal/OSHA that one of its employees was hospitalized with COVID-19 for about seven days in May.

The center, in at least eight cases, failed to "notify employees with significant exposures in a reasonable timeframe," reports Cal/OSHA. Employees also weren't properly trained on the facility's control measures and appropriate protection to mitigate the spread of the virus, according to Cal/OSHA.

A spokesperson for Fremont Healthcare Center, Daniel Kramer, said in an emailed statement to Mercury News that the citations from Cal/OSHA contain "untrue allegations," and that the facility is appealing all of them.

"Every aspect of the citations are disputed, and we continue to provide a safe workplace, exceptional care for our residents, and work to remain compliant with all safety rules," Mr. Kramer told Mercury News. 

 

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