CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Concerns are lingering over coronavirus safety protocols at a Westwood nursing home where at least one employee recently said they were asked to work while recovering from COVID-19 and now another resident has been diagnosed.
Management at Chateau at Mountain Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has told FOX19 NOW if a staff member gets COVID 19 and they are asymptomatic, they are still expected to work. However, they will work in separate areas with only residents who also have coronavirus.
Now, Denise Porter - whose aunt is a resident at Mountain Crest - says she fears that may not be the case and is worried her aunt contracted COVID-19 because of that policy.
“I just spoke with her Sunday and we joked on the phone. We did a three way call with her son and we’re just joking she’s laughing,” said Denise Porter.
Porter said Sunday is the last time she has been able to speak with her aunt, Betty Swan.
Swan’s son called her Tuesday and said his mother was taken to the hospital.
“An STNA (nurse aide) from Mountain Crest called him and told him that she had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and she had been wheezing and she called 911,” Porter said.
Her aunt doesn’t have COPD, but she does have diabetes and kidney failure, according to Porter.
She said she has learned later from Mercy West Hospital that the 72-year-old was hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. She was diagnosed with coronavirus and pneumonia.
Porter said she was horrified after speaking with the STNA who was treating her aunt.
“She was basically telling me that she goes over to the COVID unit and then they’re also pulling her over and she’s going over to the unit with the negative residents where my aunt is at.”
FOX19 spoke with Jim Griffiths, the CEO of JAG Healthcare which manages the Mountain Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Griffiths said medical privacy laws prevented him from discuss the details of this particular case.
But, he added, staff members are allowed work from one unit to another and if the staff is using good infection control protocols it shouldn’t be a problem.”
We did some digging on the Ohio Health Department’s website, which shows at total of 47 residents at Mountain Crest contracted COVID-19 and that there are two current cases this week, while a total of 10 staff members were infected and two are still recovering.
Porter said ultimately she wants more to be done to keep the residents safe.
“I’m very upset about my aunt but I know there’s other people who can’t speak for themselves. I feel like someone needs to come in there see what’s going on and change things around because it’s not right to sit here and not allow these family members to know what’s going on.”
Porter said that she has filed a formal complaint with the state health department.
According to Medicare.gov the facility has had a total of 31 health citations, ranging from claims of neglect, abuse and unsanitary conditions.
The average range of citations in Ohio is nine.