Nursing homes throughout Iowa received various fines and citations for not responding to the coronavirus pandemic appropriately. Most of the investigations began after deaths or large outbreaks were reported at a home. 

Horrific conditions reported in various nursing homes throughout Iowa

At the time of the report, three homes in Iowa had received some kind of formal notices and disciplinary actions. These citations indicate a failure to meet basic health protocol standards, as well as stricter regulations related to the pandemic. One record told of a nursing home that left only a single nurse’s aide to look after approximately 40 residents for an extended period of time. The situation quickly descended into chaos.

Inspections of other nursing homes reported on specific conditions. The inside of one home seemed to be falling apart around residents who were extremely weak and bed ridden. One small home in the Mitchellville area reported 22 infections, 8 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths out of just 45 residents. 

Another local inspection was for a home in Dubuque, Iowa, where 51 residents and one staff member tested positive for the virus. At least three workers who were suspected to be infected were allowed to continue to work, and eleven residents in the home eventually died. Another facility in Oskaloosa experienced similar problems when infected workers were allowed to self screen, resulting in several more eventual deaths. 

Some of the state records showed that a few homes in the state were essentially taking no precautions even several weeks into the pandemic. Workers with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals noticed a man walking through the hallways in one facility coughing excessively. He had apparently tested positive for COVID about ten days earlier and had been walking around freely and unrestricted. The state workers also noticed that none of the nurses or other staff within the facility seemed to care or offer the man help. There were reports of residents touching or breathing on areas where face shields were stored, and none of them appeared to have been cleaned afterwards. At least one resident of this home was reported dead around this time. 

Other violations included filled trash bins and personal protective equipment being stored in the same areas. Some personnel at the homes who were considered directors or management said that they had received very little training and had only been on the job a short time. They were essentially left to figure out what to do on their own, and the residents suffered. 

Look into the possibility of a lawsuit against a nursing home

An attorney who practices in Iowa can bring a case against a nursing home on your behalf. To talk with a lawyer about civil lawsuits, contact:

Eells and Tronvold Law Offices

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


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