1 in 3 State Nursing Homes Violated Coronavirus Protocols

Common violations include asking COVID-positive staff to keep working, not screening visitors for symptoms and not isolating infected residents

By By Dan Hounsell
April 14, 2021

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth, according to Mike Tyson. For healthcare facilities, the COVID-19 pandemic that erupted in March 2020 was the punch, and their emergency preparedness plans took that punch. For some, the results were not good. 

Consider Wisconsin, where one in three nursing homes violated coronavirus protocols, including asking COVID-positive staff to keep working, not screening visitors for symptoms and not isolating infected residents, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

State and federal officials cited 133 of Wisconsin’s 360 nursing homes for coronavirus-related violations, with some of them incurring multiple violations, according to a review of hundreds of inspection reports from March 2020 to January 2021.

The most common failure was incorrect use of masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment, found in over 70 percent of cited nursing homes. Nearly 30 percent of cited homes didn't follow quarantine or isolation protocols for residents or staff, didn’t enforce social distancing or commingled COVID-19 positive and negative residents.

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