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Health officials in Oregon have suspended a Portland nursing facility’s operating license after 28 people died amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, reports say. The 11 remaining residents at Healthcare at Foster Creek have been relocated, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) said on Tuesday.
DHS officials concluded that the facility “demonstrated a consistent inability to adhere to basic infection control standards,” resulting in at least 117 COVID-19 cases and the aforementioned deaths, according to OregonLive.com.
“We have worked on multiple strategies to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at Healthcare at Foster Creek and have concluded that moving all residents is mandatory at this stage,” Mike McCormick, interim director of the DHS division that oversees senior care homes, said, according to the report.
Since late March, state inspectors ran repeated investigations to ensure safety at the Portland nursing home, and delivered multiple shipments of protective personal equipment, according to the order. Nursing home staff were found not washing hands or changing face masks during shifts.
On Tuesday, the facility released a statement to Fox 12 Oregon claiming that staff had put “their own health at risk to ensure continuity of care for our residents.”
“Healthcare at Foster Creek leadership consistently and repeatedly attempted to communicate collaboratively with DHS and OHA to combat the threat of coronavirus,” the statement said. “We’re disappointed in the action of DHS today, but our concern has always been, and continues to be, the safety of our residents, our employees and the greater Oregon community.”
“Healthcare at Foster Creek stands ready, willing and able to assist the State of Oregon to care for citizens in need of skilled nursing care,” the statement continued. “We believe our facility should serve as a model to show that only by working together are we able to overcome the challenges we face during this unprecedented moment.”
At least one spouse of a resident claims the facility provided misleading information regarding her husband’s care.
“I’m really mad at them because they promised they were going to take good care of my husband. I talked to him the day after Easter and plus, I talked to his nurse at Healthcare and she said he was with the same residents he started with in October and that he was safe,” Renee Clark, whose husband tested positive for COVID-19 in April, told Fox 12 Oregon. “It was all a lie. Within a few days, he’s at Portland Adventist hospital in ICU with the COVID virus. He could have died, so yeah, I’m mad.”