HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- In the days and weeks after COVID-19 spread inside Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, fatally infecting dozens of residents, investigators found the staff at the western Henrico facility followed most -- but not all -- of the proper procedures, according to a report released by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Investigators from the Virginia Department of Health's Office of Licensure and Certification conducted two unannounced inspections this month. The first, performed off-site, took place between April 1st and 3rd. Investigators then physically visited the long-term care facility for an "Emergency Preparedness COVID-19 Focused Survey" that began on April 14th.
They found Canterbury was in substantial compliance with requirements.
Issues investigators discovered included:
- Some staff not performing proper handwashing
- A failure to wear isolation gowns
- A failure to wash their hands between residents when delivering meals
- A housekeeper’s improper use of disinfectant (not allowing the spray to rest on the surface for 10 minutes prior to wiping it away)
“A multitude of factors are considered during a CMS survey, however the finding that even a few items require correction is not acceptable," Dr. James Wright, Medical Director at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, said when asked about the report. "One employee was found to be the primary offender; disciplinary action in that case is underway. Additionally, our entire staff is slated to take part in an infection control protocols reeducation. Throughout this crisis our nurses, doctors, aids, housekeepers, members of the dietary teams and other staff that have worked tirelessly, going above and beyond on heroically caring for members of our community. We continue to work hard both individually and as a group to provide our residents with the best care humanly possible.”
The two inspections occurred after the coronavirus infected more than 100 Canterbury residents and staff members. Canterbury has reported 50 COVID-19 related deaths. To read the full investigation, click here .
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.