Families concerned after picture shows Georgetown nursing home employees without masks

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 9:49 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Dover Manor by Harborview in Georgetown is the site of a recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases, but a recent social media post has people talking.

Amanda Atwood’s grandmother, Vina Maxine Bell lives at the home. Atwood got a text from the nursing home Tuesday saying it has a cluster of positive cases.

Dr. Crystal Miller, public health director for WEDCO District Health Department, said the first positive case was reported 2 weeks ago.

“Fast forward to [Tuesday], we have a total of 39 total cases in there,” she said.

Dover Manor Executive Director Dustyn Sloan said in a statement to WKYT, “Unlike many nursing homes we have made it our policy to test residents and staff that do not have any symptoms of COVID along with those with symptoms. We feel that the best way to contain this terrible disease is by knowing who is infected. While it may appear that our facility has reported higher then average cases it is not a function of our infection control policies, it is because we are testing symptomatic and at risk residents.”

Miller said the facility built a COVID-19 unit to manage the spread and keep residents safe, but Atwood spotted something on the facility’s Facebook page that made her think otherwise.

“You could see in the background, Dover Manor employees do not have a mask on,” Atwood said.

The facility has been renovating the past few months, and Atwood said she hasn’t seen or talked to her grandmother since March.

“We can’t come in as family, why are they doing renovations? Why are these people allowed to go in?”

Barbara Morris’ mother, Flora Phillips lives in Dover Manor, too. Morris said her mother was roommates with the facility’s first positive COVID case. She said she was able to visit her mom through a window up until two weeks ago.

“I could see the kitchen through the window where mom was sitting and they had no mask, no gloves on,” Morris said.

Dr. Miller said finding the origin of the outbreak is tough to nail down.

“They try to do their best with not letting outside vendors into the facility, but obviously they need things delivered and taken care of,” Miller said.

Morris said she thinks the facility is short-staffed. She called the Ombudsman to report what her mother said she’s experiencing.

Sherry Culp, a state long-term care ombudsman, said they normally visit facilities unannounced, and now they can’t go inside locations with COVID-19 cases.

“I think that has really impacted the ability for us to have moments where we’re with residents and can have small talk with them and remind them of what we’re there for,” Culp said.

Culp said an ombudsman intervenes with a case and attempts to resolve it before it escalates to a higher level.

In a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Beshear said he wasn’t aware of the allegations made against Dover Manor, but that the state would look into it.

“Our infection control team will reach out and make sure the proper PPE is being followed, that proper sectioning of the facility is followed, and our office of the inspector general will also go in if there are complaints and concerns and inspect and make sure things are happening in the proper way,” Secretary Eric Friedlander said.

Atwood said she talked to another woman online whose mother just tested positive.

“She said it was because of the direct negligence of the nursing home.”

She’s spoken to more than just family members.

“I actually had somebody with a fake Facebook profile reach out to me on Messenger and was telling me that rooms are not being cleaned, they’re not being sanitized, it’s taking hours for residents to be fed, and they even went as far to say Dover needs to be shut down,” Atwood told WKYT’s Shelby Lofton.

Miller said while most residents are asymptomatic, one has died and two were admitted to the hospital overnight.

Atwood said she worries not only for her own grandmother, but the other people inside because they are a target of the virus.

Morris said if the building can remodeled, it should also be deep-cleaned.

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