A Camas nursing home has confirmed that a staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus and is under home-quarantine, per Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
“We can confirm that one staff member … tested positive for COVID-19 on March 26,” Prestige Care & Rehabilitation management confirmed in a statement sent to the Post-Record.
The Camas facility was among 137 Washington long-term-care facilities with a reported case of COVID-19 among staff or residents, according to a Seattle Times report published last week, which featured Washington Department of Social and Health Services documents showing that 52 nursing homes, 53 assisted-living facilities, 23 adult family homes and nine other long-term-care facilities in the state had reported at least one case of COVID-19, and that 52 of those facilities have reported 221 coronavirus-related deaths.
The list included seven facilities in Clark County, including six in Vancouver and one — Prestige Care & Rehabilitation — in Camas.
The Camas center, located at 740 N.E. Dallas St., is an 83-bed private care facility that includes both short-term rehabilitation for those recovering from an illness or stay in the hospital and long-term care for people who require 24-hour nursing services.
The center’s administrator, Mattson Kistrup, who took over management of the Camas-based Prestige facility in December 2016, referred the Post-Record to the company’s public relations firm, Firmani and Associates, of Seattle, which issued the following statement on April 10:
“We diligently track all patient and staff interactions. All patients who had direct contact with this staff member were isolated, placed on droplet precautions and closely monitored, per CDC guidelines. Three patients with underlying health conditions were tested for COVID-19. The results were negative.”
The statement said that, as of April 10, “no other staff members or patients are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19” and that Prestige was directly updating patients and, where appropriate, families, on the center’s preventative measures.
2018 report notes facility ‘caused actual harm’ to residents
The center has had one federal fine in the past three years, according to a study by the investigative journalism group ProPublica.
That fine, for $8,125, was linked to a 2018 United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report showing the Camas facility had caused “actual harm” to a few of its residents by not keeping all essential equipment working safely.
The DHHS report focused on “Resident No. 52,” a woman who required “extensive two-person physical assistance with bed mobility, transfers, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene and bathing” and reported wounds from a treatment designed to stimulate the nerves in her legs. DHHS found that treatment provided by Prestige “caused harm to Resident No. 52 and the facility did not communicate or document the injury.”
In 2019, DHHS reported 10 deficiencies at the Camas nursing home, including two the agency said had “a potential for harm.”
One of those deficiencies related to the center’s policies and procedures for flu and pneumonia vaccinations and the other was for a failure to “provide safe and appropriate respiratory care for a resident when needed.”
The latter referred to an incident involving the facility’s failure to properly label oxygen and nebulizer tubing. The DHHS report stated that a nebulizer mask, used to deliver medication to the patient’s lungs, “was observed sitting in a protective bag … on (the resident’s) bedside table” and did not have a date or initial on it. Another part of the report stated that the resident’s oxygen and nebulizer tubing had no label showing when it had been changed.
The facility’s resident care manager told DHHS investigators that the “tubing on oxygen and nebulizers should be changed weekly and labeled with the initial of the nurse and the date.”
The DHHS report stated that the failures placed residents “at risk for infection and a diminished quality of life.”
In its April 10 statement, Prestige addressed the concerns noted in the reports: “As caregivers, there is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our patients. We recognize that there were areas we needed to improve in 2019, and we worked collaboratively with state regulators to immediately address those issues. We implemented our plan of correction as soon as we were notified by DHHS of the deficiencies and were found compliant by the state. All issues were resolved last year.”
Center maintaining ‘rigorous sanitation practices’
In its statement, Prestige leaders said they are continuing to monitor and adhere to CDC and state health infection-prevention recommendations and are “continually reinforcing (the center’s) preventive measures as this situation evolves” and maintaining “rigorous sanitation practices.”
“We continue to strongly encourage effective hand hygiene and other sanitary practices for all patients and staff. Communal dining and other group activities are still on hold as we adhere to social distancing mandates,” the statement noted. “We will continue our ongoing steps to implement safety precautions designed to safeguard our patients and staff. We are incredibly proud of our team of compassionate caregivers and the urgency with which they responded to this situation, and their continued dedication to providing the highest standard of care during this time.”