The Villages of Orleans nursing home hit with $66K federal fine

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 January 2021 at 7:15 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: The flag is lowered in this photo from May at The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion, out of respect for the victims of Covid-19.

ALBION – A nursing home in Albion where 30 residents have passed away due to Covid-19 has been hit with a $66,632 fine for Covid violations.

The fine is the largest penalty for a nursing home in New York State for Covid violations, according to an article in The Buffalo News.

The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center was fined $20,000 in September by the state Department of Health for violations cited in a May 9 state inspection of the facility.

The new fine from the federal government is based on that earlier state inspection. DOH inspectors on May 9 said facility staff weren’t following proper infection prevention and control measures. One example included certified nursing aides and licensed practical nurses entering and exiting a room of a person with Covid, and then entering rooms of other residents without Covid.

The staff “passed breakfast trays, assisted with the residents’ meals and provided hands on care without wearing PPE and completing proper hand hygiene,” according to the DOH report.

The DOH said personal protective equipment wasn’t readily available to staff. Several employees told DOH there wasn’t adequate PPE for workers.

The Department of Health also reported that many nursing home employees, including agency staff, did not seem educated on infection control policies, standard/droplet precautions and Covid-19.

The Villages has had 93 of its residents in the 120-bed facility test positive for Covid. The Villages hasn’t experienced any deaths among residents since May due to Covid.

The nursing home is one of 20 in the state under investigation by the Attorney General Tish James. She released a report last week about nursing homes and their response during the pandemic. The AG said many nursing homes weren’t prepared to protect residents from Covid-19.

The AG also faulted the state for underreporting the deaths of nursing homes residents from Covid by as much as 50 percent.