Connecticut Department of Public Health orders the evacuation of residents from Waterford skilled nursing facility
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2023
CONTACT: Chris Boyle—Director of Communications
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HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has ordered the evacuation of 69 residents from Greentree Manor, a skilled nursing facility in Waterford. DPH officials were on site throughout the night to ensure the safe transfer of the residents which was completed early Friday morning.
“On Thursday, we learned that the facility began renovations to its South Center and North Center Nursing Units without notifying DPH in advance as required by state regulation,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “DPH has determined that the condition of both units poses an imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents there, and all work has been halted.”
The North Center Nursing Unit, South Center Nursing Unit, and the South Shore Nursing Unit had flooring removed which was not tested for asbestos prior to removal. The North Star Unit remained intact pending asbestos testing following a DPH onsite inspection.
DPH officials stress that the Environmental Protection Agency requires facility owners or operators to inspect facilities for asbestos in advance of renovations. Contractors must not start any renovations where asbestos is present and may be disturbed by the renovation without providing an asbestos abatement notification to DPH.
DPH in consultation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a finding of Immediate Jeopardy. CMS defines an Immediate Jeopardy as a situation “that is clearly identifiable due to the severity of its harm and the immediate need for it to be corrected to avoid further or future serious harm.”
In addition to evacuating the residents from the facility, Commissioner Juthani has issued an order for the facility to complete the following:
- Immediately cover the entire concrete floor on the South Center Nursing Unit
- Immediately close the corridor doors between the North Center Nursing Unit and North Star Nursing Unit and post the following notice on the doors: “Do Not Open, Emergency Use Only”
- Require staff to enter the building using the exterior door at the North Star Nursing Unit at all times during this renovation project, including to report to their assignment, and to bring all dietary carts through the exterior doors
- Immediately set up a temporary satellite nurse station in the North Star Nursing Unit
- Immediately provide notice of the Order to all residents, residents’ families, and caregivers
- Conduct asbestos testing of all flooring materials throughout the building and in the dumpster
- Install negative air scrubbing machines in all units and ensure that such machines are turned on 24/7 throughout the duration of this project
- Immediately stop new admissions
- Provide to DPH within 24 hours the full renovation plan for the facility
- Facility shall not resume work until a work plan is submitted to DPH for review and received DPH’s approval.