🔥A second St. Louis area nursing home hit by coronavirus while the first reports another infection🔥

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A second St. Louis area nursing home hit by coronavirus while the first reports another infection

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Two women leave Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in St. Charles. As of Wednesday afternoon, three patients at the facility had tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Lexi Browning, [email protected]

The sign outside of Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in St. Charles. As of Wednesday afternoon, three patients at the facility had tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Lexi Browning, [email protected]

A man wearing a face mask takes a phone call after leaving Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in St. Charles. As of Wednesday afternoon, three patients at the facility had tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Lexi Browning, [email protected]

A man enters Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in St. Charles. Frontier, located at 2840 West Clay, was informed two residents tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Photo by Christian Gooden, [email protected]

A woman returns to her car after exiting Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in St. Charles. Frontier, located at 2840 West Clay, was informed two residents tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Photo by Christian Gooden, [email protected]

Evening sunlight illuminates the exterior of Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in St. Charles. As of Wednesday afternoon, three patients at the facility had tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Lexi Browning, [email protected]

A woman adjusts her face mask before entering Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in St. Charles. As of Wednesday afternoon, three patients at the facility had tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Lexi Browning, [email protected]

ST. LOUIS — The new coronavirus has reached a second area nursing home, sickening four residents and two employees at Life Care Center of St. Louis, an official confirmed Thursday. The four residents of Life Care Center of St. Louis are hospitalized, the home’s executive director Sean Buckley said in a written statement. The two employees were directed to stay at home.Life Care Center, at 3520 Chouteau Avenue, is owned by the same company that operates the Life Care Center of Kirkland, near Seattle, where 37 people have died from a COVID-19 outbreak. Another Life Care facility in Kansas City was the site of Kansas’ first coronavirus death.Buckley said the first of the six cases at Life Care Center of St. Louis was confirmed Tuesday in a resident who was hospitalized March 18 at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond Heights. Two residents who later exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus were taken to the hospital Monday, Buckley said. A fourth resident was hospitalized Tuesday.Buckley did not release more details about the COVID-19 cases, and a company spokesperson did not respond to a request for additional information. Also on Thursday, an employee of Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Charles tested positive for COVID-19.The employee, who is in her 30s, hasn’t been at the home since Friday, Frontier spokesman Craig Workman said. She has been self-quarantined at home since Monday, when she felt sick and did not report to work, he said. She was tested the same day.Frontier is the facility where three residents — a woman in her 80s, a woman in her 70s and a man in his 50s — have been sickened by the virus. Details limitedNursing homes and extended care facilities worldwide have been especially hit hard by the spread of COVID-19, which is particularly dangerous to older adults and people with preexisting health conditions.But finding out whether other area nursing homes have been affected is difficult unless the facility chooses to disclose the information.Officials with the city of St. Louis, and St. Louis, Jefferson, Franklin and Madison counties on Thursday refused to confirm if any other COVID-19 cases in the area were connected to other nursing homes or other senior-living facilities.Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in senior living facilities in the region have prompted agencies serving older adults in the St. Louis region to implement recommendations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to minimize the risk of infection in older adults, including screening residents and patients daily for signs of or symptoms of the coronavirus.Both Frontier, which operates five other facilities in the St. Louis region, and Life Care Center, which also operates homes in Bridgeton and Chesterfield, say they have screened staff arriving at the building and residents inside at least once each day, telling anyone with a fever or temperature higher than 100.4 degrees to return home and call a physician.Frontier two weeks ago also banned outside visitors, closed dining rooms and canceled group events.On Thursday, Workman said a trained infection preventionist was assessing the facility “to ensure we are complying with CDC guidance for infection prevention and patient safety.”Inspection issuesThe COVID-19 outbreak follows recent federal inspections that documented several instances in which Frontier staff failed to follow rules designed to prevent the spread of infection. Regulators observed nurses clean residents, change their clothing and deposit soiled clothing without washing their hands.

The most recent inspection by CMS of the facility in late 2019 resulted in 22 health citations, more than double the average number of citations, eight, for a facility in the U.S. In the past three years, the facility was cited 15 times as a result of federal regulators investigating complaints there, as opposed to making planned visits.In one instance on Oct. 30, federal inspectors saw an assistant director of nursing lead a severely mentally-impaired resident with one hand visibly down his adult diaper to a table and give him food and silverware, without washing his hands. The resident, who was known to need the diaper and nurses’ help to clean himself, ate with soiled hands, the inspector wrote.Another pair of nurses were observed the same day changing a resident’s urine-stained briefs without washing the resident’s hands, despite seeing the resident stick their hands down their brief.A fourth nurse was seen cleaning a resident’s soiled rear and genitals, changing the resident’s clothing and moving the resident to a bed without changing gloves in between each action and washing hands as required.In another instance in 2018, a federal regulator observed a nurse brushing a resident’s hair while wearing gloves the nurse had just used to clean the resident’s soiled rear, and later pushed the resident’s roommate in a wheelchair to the dining room wearing soiled gloves. A second nurse helping the resident left the room wearing soiled gloves, touching a doorknob, keypad and a key.Workman, the Frontier spokesman, said that the federal officials had found “multiple minor deficincies resulting in no harm to any resident.”He said the facility has corrected the issues it was cited.“All deficiencies were corrected by January 13, 2020 through extensive training performed by our leadership team with the front-line nursing staff,” Workman said in a written statement. “The Department of Health and Human Services has since recognized these vast improvements during follow-up meetings related to this crisis.”Of the Frontier residents who tested positive for COVID-19, two are hospitalized, both elderly women. The third resident, a man in his 50s, is under quarantine in a wing of the nursing home reserved to isolate anyone with potential exposure to the coronavirus.Workman did not release how many residents are in the wing, citing federal health privacy laws, but said staff working in the wing wear face masks, gloves, gowns and face shields. While other residents in the home have roommates, Workman said, the rooms in the isolated wing are private.• Cases in Missouri by date• Cases in the United States• CDC fact sheet: Prevention and treatment

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Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center reported its first case of COVID-19 Tuesday in a woman hospitalized over the weekend for symptoms of a heart condition. The nursing home at 2840 West Clay Street houses 113 elderly patients recovering from medical procedures. 

The criteria for getting tested for the coronavirus in Missouri was loosened by state officials Monday after weeks of complaints.

One of the eight cases is a resident of Frontier Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Charles who is now hospitalized; another of the eight cases is an employee of a Circle K gas station and convenience store on Elm Street in St. Charles.

‘Our population that we serve is the most — and I can’t emphasize this enough — the most vulnerable to the exposure of COVID-19.’

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