Two employee deaths at nursing home cited for poor COVID-19 control

Two staff members from Heritage Park Rehabilitation and Healthcare who tested positive with COVID-19 died according to a Department of Health report that tracks deaths at long-term care facilities.

The Heritage Park facility in Fort Myers also listed eight resident deaths on the most recent report.

Several workers from the facility have been in contact with WINK News regarding their concerns that management was not doing enough to control the virus’s spread.

In May, the United Healthcare workers union filed complaints with state and federal regulators. (LINK May reporting here)

Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration visited in late May and found several deficiencies related to infection control and other patient care issues.

A spokesperson for AHCA told WINK News by email, “The Agency determined Heritage Park corrected their infection prevention and control issues during a revisit to the facility on July 6. The facility remains out of compliance with other state and federal regulatory requirements.”

A July 15 statement of deficiencies available on AHCA’s website details problems with the labeling of drugs and keeping patients free from neglect.

An employee who wanted to remain anonymous told WINK News in August that infection control at Heritage Park had not really improved.  (Link AUGUST reporting here)

In August, a WINK News analysis of archived COVID-19 case reports found a lack of reporting for an entire week in July and then a significant drop in case numbers.

AHCA did not respond to WINK News inquiries about the case reports until September 3.

“The Agency reviewed this facility’s data entry and found no errors during the time provided. Individuals who are positive for COVID can be cleared based on an improvement in symptoms in 10 days. It is not uncommon to see a drop in positivity based on the passage of time,” wrote Patrick Manderfield, the deputy communications director for AHCA.

At the time of publication, no one from Heritage Park’s parent company, Consulate Healthcare, has responded to WINK News requests for comment.

Reporter:Lauren Sweeney
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