The Watermark at Trinity, a senior care facility in Florida, has been fined $10,500 after allowing three residents infected with COVID-19 to wander around the memory care unit, exposing other residents. Additionally, the facility failed to conduct a thorough background check on one of its staff members. Source.
Originally, the state health care administration agency moved to revoke the facility’s license to operate, in addition to the fine, but after reaching a settlement the movement to revoke the operations license was dropped. The fine remained in place.
The Watermark Retirement Community’s official statement was “The Watermark at Trinity is in compliance with AHCA and continues to serve our residents with our commitment to their well-being. The dedicated team at The Watermark at Trinity conducts rigorous infection control practices established by Watermark per CDC guidelines and conducts ongoing training for all associates to keep our residents safe.”
When the inspector from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration arrived at the facility in February for an inspection, the administrator on-site could not confidently say how many of the residents had tested positive for COVID-19, with the answer changing each time they were asked. While at the facility, the inspector found that at least three residents were positive for COVID-19 and had full access to come and go from their rooms as they pleased, putting others at risk. All of the residents who were positive for the virus suffered from either Alzheimer’s or dementia, yet the administrator stated that she expected residents on the memory care unit who were COVID-19 positive would ‘stay in their rooms if they were told to do so.’”
Additionally, a staff member who was hired in November of 2020 and interacted with the residents and their belongings on a daily basis, was hired without a proper background screening, according to facility records.
Allowing residents who have tested positive to COVID-19 to walk freely throughout the unit, puts other residents at risk, and failing to properly quarantine these individuals is a direct sign of negligence by the staff. If your loved one has suffered while in a nursing home, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Beltz & Beltz represent the victims and the families of the victims of nursing home abuse throughout the state of Florida. If your loved one has suffered, contact our office today.
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