The Department of Public Health announced they are appointing a temporary manager to oversee operations at Three Rivers Nursing Home in Norwich after a widespread COVID-19 outbreak.
The announcement comes as an investigation is underway into the outbreak at the facility.
The temporary manager will be responsible for operations of the facility and will have the authority over all hiring, personnel, and procedural decisions at the nursing home, DPH said. They will also have authority over fiscal and budgetary matters in order to correct operational deficiencies, in accordance with federal and state regulations.
There have been at least 21 residents and six staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19. Four of those infected have died, DPH said.
Three Rivers has voluntarily accepted the temporary manager, according to DPH.
“Appointing a temporary manager is a rare and serious step that is unfortunately warranted under the current circumstances in order to keep the residents and staff at Three Rivers nursing home safe,” said Acting DPH Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford.
This is the first time since 2006 that DPH has appointed a temporary manager to a Connecticut nursing home.
On Aug. 31, DPH issued a statement in regard to the deficiency for Three Rivers following an investigation. The investigation revealed that the coronavirus outbreak began on July 24 when a staff member tested positive through routine weekly testing, according to DPH.
The investigation also found that there were serious violations found in general infection control practices, staffing, cohorting residents who tested positive, and use of PPE, DPH said.
DPH said they are investigating whether state regulations, laws or executive orders were violated by the facility. DPH personnel have remained on-site to monitor the situation at Three Rivers since the beginning of the investigation.
The temporary manager will conduct a thorough review of infection control, staffing and management practices at the facility and will submit an assessment to DPH within two weeks.
The manager also has to direct the creation of a corrective plan of action that must be presented to DPH. This plan is expected to show how the facility will address the findings and improve patient care, according to DPH.
DPH said they are expecting more enforcement actions against Three Rivers to come.