Nursing home at center of US COVID-19 outbreak was fined $67K last year for infection control violations

CMS and CDC inspectors will be conducting an investigation of Kirkland, Wash.-based Life Care Center, a nursing facility at the center of the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak, KIRO 7 reported.

Of 10 new COVID-19 cases reported March 4 in King County, Wash., nine were linked to the Life Care Center, and at least eight related deaths have been linked to the facility.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency, along with the CDC, is sending experts to Life Care to determine what caused the outbreak and if the facility followed infection control guidelines. 

Last April, Life Care was fined $67,000 by the state for infection control violations after two flu outbreaks sickened 17 patients and staff. An unannounced inspection in June, however, found  that the problems had been corrected. 

Life Care is not allowing visits from residents' family members and stopped admitting new residents. The organization issued the following statement March 4:

"Current residents and associates continue to be monitored closely. Associates are actively monitored through temperature and symptom screening at the beginning of work and at the end of their shift. We are also implementing the infection control recommendations provided by state and local health departments and the CDC. While our associates are dedicated to providing care to our residents, if an associate exhibits symptoms, they are asked to self-quarantine at home."

Many 5-star nursing homes have infection control issues

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