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State DOH releases reports on Ontario Center after investigative series into worker, resident experiences

Despite reporting on some vivid horror stories that came out of Canandaigua’s Ontario Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare over the summer, the New York State Department of Health has confirmed that the Centers Health Care-owned facility had not been subject to any deficiencies during its latest two “Focused Inspection Control COVID-19 Surveys” that occurred earlier this spring and summer.

Ontario Center employee had to develop his own COVID safety protocols as pandemic ripped through facility

FingerLakes1.com filed two Freedom of Information Law requests with the Department on Health over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Yesterday, FingerLakes1.com just received a response to its second FOIL request on Monday, October 5th.

A few weeks prior, an initial request had been unexpectedly completed on Thursday, September 10th.

Both requests were anticipated to be fulfilled this Monday, which in fact happened.

The requests sought to collect the complaint surveys pertaining to the COVID-19 infection control audit reports from two visits to the long-term care facility that the state’s health agency directly conducted.


The first visit scheduled by the Department of Health occurred back on Tuesday, April 28th, and found no deficiencies then during the peak of the pandemic.

Right around that time, a widespread outbreak occurred where five Ontario Center residents passed away after contracting COVID-19 just before April 14th.

Sixty-five days later, a second impromptu focused COVID-19 infection survey transpired on Thursday, July 2nd shortly after Senator Pam Helming [R-54] called for an investigation into Ontario Center, but not a single deficiency had been spotted either.

DAILY DEBRIEF: Investigation into Ontario Center prompts state bill to address nursing home, COVID issues (podcast)

 

This particular visit had actually arisen out of an active investigation into Ontario Center, according to Jeffrey Hammond, a Department of Health public information officer.

Although no deficiencies were found during the most recent visits, 14 health violations were cited by the same state agency more than a month before the start of the pandemic when the NYSDOH entered Ontario Center while conducting its annual health certification and inspection report back in late-January.

State Department of Health makes unannounced visit to Ontario Center, says investigation into facility underway

More recently, however, another inspection complaint survey actually occurred 50-days before the first of two COVID-19 focused surveys happened on March 9th, and three deficiencies were identified at that point.

It is still unclear whether the state’s Department of Health investigation into Ontario Center is still ongoing following the release of these public documents which revealed that not a single deficiency had been found between two separate visits in April and July amid a global pandemic.

The official COVID-19 fatality count has remained stagnant at 13 deaths among residents, according to the Department of Health.



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