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Employees Claim Negligence In San Andreas Nursing Home With COVID-19 Outbreak

covid 19 nursing home lawsuit

Two employees at a San Andreas, CA nursing home with a COVID-19 outbreak have alleged negligence in the prevention and management of the outbreak.

The anonymous employees told the Calaveras Enterprise that most staff at Avalon Health Care have shown a “nonchalant” attitude toward usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) prior to and during the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak has infected over half of the home’s 100 residents, killing 11.

“People are dying and suffering unnecessarily,” one of the employees said. “How much longer could they have made it, as healthy as they could be, if it wasn’t for the negligence of staff members bringing corona to them?”

The last several weeks have been “one big, nonstop violation” of COVID-19 safety protocols, according to the employees.

One of the employees told the Enterprise that it is suspected an asymptomatic staff member brought the virus into the home, and that this wouldn’t have happened with proper PPE use. The employee also said she saw a staff member feeding a resident with her mask down and her face shield up while telling a fellow staff member that she had symptoms of COVID-19 and “probably has it.”

Another employee told the Enterprise that N95 masks weren’t distributed to employees until the peak of the outbreak and that she had seen staff members working with masks hanging from their faces. That employee also said she saw a staff member store a protective gown used for interacting with COVID-19-positive patients in a personal clothing drawer against protocol.

The employees told the Enterprise that they’ve been given a lack of PPE training. They said most information they’ve received about COVID-19 protocol has been received informally “by word of mouth” and via the news.

The employees said they raised safety concerns with administration before and during the outbreak, but that these concerns were disregarded.

“One resident in my wing, who shared a room with a positive case and is currently a suspected case, got in a wheelchair and spent all day wandering up and down the hallway, talking to everybody with no mask (on),” one of the employees said. The employee said she had recently been coughed on by a symptomatic patient who wasn’t in isolation.

Avalon Health Care has reported COVID-19-positive residents in more than half of its 10 California facilities, as well as 29 deaths.

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