A New York Department of Health surveyor auditing a Bronx nursing home exposed residents and staff to COVID-19 per a source at Fox News. According to an employee at Pelham Parkway Nursing Home, a team of health department surveyors began auditing the facility on April 5. While department guidance “strongly encourages” all visitors to be tested before entering a nursing home facility in New York, the source said surveyors declined testing on-site. Four days later, nursing home staff were told one surveyor had tested positive with COVID and was quarantined.
Officials claim the contact tracing ruled out exposure to other facility staff and residents, however, the whole facility, including 148 residents, had to be tested per state guidelines. So far, none of the residents or staff have tested positive and outdoor family visits have continued un-interrupted.
Please know what your specific state requirements are for visitors, yes visitors. State surveyors are considered “essential” and should be allowed access to your center however not at the expense of the safety of your staff and residents. Talk to your state survey agency to identify specifics to their requirements PRIOR to your next “visit”. Know what you can ask for and what your rights are regarding allowing access. Continue screening everyone who enters your center and obtain contact information for contact tracing if needed. Stay well, mask up indoors and stay tuned!