Local news for Iowa reported on a sick nursing assistant who may have been responsible for many coronavirus infections and even deaths. 

Dozens of infections and deaths may have started with a single employee who was not properly screened

A state inspection report that an outbreak in Iowa that killed fifteen people may have started with a single aide who worked in a nursing home. The worker in question was employed at the Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Inspectors believe that the center failed to test employees at the beginning of their shifts, as was required at the time. The workers were merely told to self-screen, rather than having their temperatures taken by another person, with other additional safety measures. No independent monitoring was conducted either at the facility.

The inspection report that found these problems said that one employee was still working while knowingly sick. This worker was never reported, and within days there were widespread infections all throughout the home. 

The Iowa Department of Public Health commented that this is one of the largest nursing homes in the state. A total of 79 people who lived or worked in the facility tested positive as of the time of the report. It is now considered one of the largest nursing home outbreaks in the country. Out of this total, 15 of the infected have died and the other 64 have made a recovery. One of the deaths was an 86 year old Air Force veteran, whose daughter has been very vocal about the possibility of preventing his infection. 

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals had imposed a fine that was just under $9,000, but federal regulators have suspended those sanctions as they consider additional penalties. The home may ultimately face very severe consequences. 

The administrator of the facility said that they were in the process of making an appeal. He claims that they had actually been approved to use this self-screening method, and did not believe that it was a problem. Inspectors disagreed and said that the home did not substantially comply with the regulations that were in effect. The employee in question had been excused from her second job, but continued to work at the Crystal Heights Care Center. Within five days, over 60 people at the nursing home were infected. 

Speak with a local attorney after a situation involving nursing home neglect or abuse

There are lawyers in Iowa who can assist you if a family member has died or been infected while under the care of a nursing home. Nursing home illnesses and deaths are a common cause of civil lawsuits due to improper procedures, intentional abuse, and neglect. 

To schedule a consultation, contact:

Eells and Tronvold Law Offices

1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400 



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