Fourteen people have died from coronavirus at a single nursing home in Southeast Portland, where state officials said employees did not wash their hands, failed to properly socially distance and were not trained in how to slow the spread of an infection, according to an inspection report state officials released Thursday.
In addition, the inspection report reads, “interviews with facility staff revealed staff did not feel like they had adequate staff to meet the needs of the residents.”
Employees at Healthcare at Foster Creek in Portland did not have enough protective gear; employees only got one face mask per shift and there weren’t any replacements. One caregiver reported a broken strap on a mask that still wasn’t replaced.
The state launched the inspection of the facility two weeks after Foster Creek reported 10 deaths. Foster Creek has reported 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19. About 95 residents lived at the facility last month. The Oregonian/OregonLive first reported the outbreak happening in long-term care facilities.
Oregon’s long-term care facilities, which house aging and vulnerable populations, have been hit hard by the virus. As of Thursday, the state reported 37 of Oregon's 64 known coronavirus-related deaths happened in long-term care facilities.
State officials said they are now monitoring Foster Creek and overseeing the operations of the facility.
“With this additional oversight, the state can better work with facility management to take additional measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 infections,” read a statement from Mike McCormick, interim director of the DHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities, which licenses long-term care facilities. “We share a deep concern for the residents and staff impacted by the virus.”
The state has opened a 47-bed facility at Laurelhurst Village Rehab in Portland to take patients who are recovering from COVID-19 but are not ready to go back into a communal setting.
The state also created a team to help long-term care facilities access resources and staffing, as well as protective gear.
There are 24 long-term care facilities in Oregon reporting staff or residents with COVID-19, according to information from the state. That makes up about 4% of nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities statewide.