Westwood nursing home makes COVID-positive employees continue to work, one claims

Nursing home workers say they're asked to work after testing positive for COVID

WESTWOOD, Ohio (FOX19) - Employees at a local nursing home say they were asked to work even after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I’ve never felt like this ever in my life,” one employee at the Chateau at Mountain Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center said.

The employee didn’t want to be identified to protect her job but says she is still recovering from the virus.

The employee claims she learned she contracted the virus after testing positive last week. Then just a few days later, she says was still asked to come in to work.

“Basically, to come in and bring my paperwork for me being off, and to take my temp, and if I didn’t have a temp, I was to work,” said the employee.

According to CDC guidelines sick employees who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days, and potentially exposed employees who do not have symptoms should also remain home and practice social distancing for 14 days.

But President and CEO of JAG Health Care James Griffiths, whose firm oversees the nursing home, says that policy doesn’t apply to essential workers.

“Those individuals who are COVID-19 active and symptomatic should be home for two weeks, for two weeks of the their shift with pay,” he said. “JAG does that, and we have done that for employees. Now, if you’re asymptomatic, with no fever, no cough, no loss of smell or taste, CDC guidelines -- and that’s what we are following, and the Ohio Department of Health and CMS -- their guidelines are that those folks that are asymptomatic that have COVID-19 are allowed to work in units where people, residents or patients are COVID-19 active as well.”

Griffiths says at the start of the pandemic the Chateau at Mountain Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center renovated a building that wasn’t being used, which is now isolated for those recovering from the virus.

“I just want it to be reasonable for the employees who do come into contact and are tested positive, and that they honor the 14-day quarantine,” the employee said.

Griffiths says anyone who does test positive for coronavirus and is asymptomatic can choose not to work but will be required to use their earned time off.

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