State investigating Ida evacuation site after 4 nursing home patients dead, 15 hospitalized

Four Louisiana nursing home patients are dead and 15 required hospitalization after they were evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ida, according to a Sept. 2 news release from the Louisiana Department of Health.

A coroner has confirmed three of the deaths to be storm-related.

Two days before Ida hit land, hundreds were transferred from seven nursing homes to a site called Waterbury, NPR reports. The health department is responding to complaints of unsafe conditions at the site, which is not a registered nursing home.

As the storm hit, the health department received unconfirmed reports of patients crowded on mattresses on the floor, water entering the building, generator issues, and a strong odor of feces and urine.

Upon hearing reports of deteriorating conditions, health department inspectors visited the site but were expelled from the property and could not conduct a full assessment Aug. 31. The health department launched a full investigation Sept. 2. 

As of Sept. 2, 721 residents have been rescued from the facility. The public health department says it "will be taking action against these nursing facilities, and will be making appropriate referrals to law enforcement."

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