Evansville Manor was cited in October by state investigators for violating infection prevention and control policies during a COVID-19 investigation.
The citation is the nursing home’s 14th citation this year and the first for issues related to COVID-19. The other 13 violations were detailed in earlier reporting from The Gazette.
The state has completed three COVID-19 investigations at Evansville Manor this year. Two of the investigations resulted in no citations, according to documents from the state Department of Health Services.
The state’s facilitywide investigation database lists Evansville Manor as having an active COVID-19 investigation as of Wednesday, along with eight other Rock County nursing homes.
The state only identifies nursing homes with active investigations. It does not identify businesses, educational facilities or health care facilities that are under investigation.
An Oct. 7 investigation found Evansville Manor “failed to ensure it maintained an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases such as COVID-19,” according to the state documents.
A state investigator found these situations that violated infection control policies:
- Staff members were observed wearing N95 masks that were ill-fitting and were not fit tested for the masks.
- Hand hygiene was not performed per standards of practice.
- Residents were moved to the quarantine hall prior to testing, which is against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.
- Staff members were observed working with COVID-19-postive patients, then leaving the unit and entering other parts of the building.
- Staff members were not screened prior to entering the facility.
Evansville Manor officials were required to submit a plan of correction, which states the facility has made short-term and long-term changes to address the identified deficiencies.
Nursing home Administrator Michael Spitzer said Evansville Manor is back in good standing with the state.
“Everybody has stepped up to the plate,” Spitzer said. “Staffing can be compromised at times, but we are here to make it (the nursing home) a better place.”
Spitzer’s first day on the job was Oct. 5, one day before the state investigator came to the facility.
The citation was a “low-level” citation, Spitzer said.
Evansville Manor, like all other nursing homes in the state, faces significant challenges because of the pandemic.
A public health nurse interviewed by the state investigator indicated COVID-19 outbreaks occurred April 23, July 16 and Oct. 5. During the interview, the public health nurse said there were six positive cases identified so far in the Oct. 5 outbreak, according to the documents.
Cases have been identified in both staff and residents, Spitzer said.
He said staff and residents are tested for COVID-19 twice a week.
Staff members are tested with rapid test kits before entering the building to prevent potential spread, Spitzer said.
Families are notified when the facility reaches outbreak status, and all visiting is prohibited, Spitzer said.
Spitzer said he has worked in the long-term care business since 1985. He comes from another nursing home with a five-star rating, and he said he is optimistic he can get Evansville Manor to the same standing.
Medicare gives Evansville Manor a two-star rating.
“I plan on being here for the long haul,” Spitzer said.
He said he is proud of the Evansville Manor staff and said employees are making concerted efforts to improve.