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Capital Region nursing homes fined $32K for COVID-19 violations

Three Capital Region nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Health for infection control and other lapses during the coronavirus pandemic, state health records show.

The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Barnwell in Columbia County received one of the largest fines statewide at $22,000 for multiple violations that had “potential to cause more than minimal harm,” according to inspection reports. Violations centered around inadequate or improper use of personal protective equipment, failure to clean hands, improper groupings of suspected COVID-19 patients, and failure to notify residents of positive cases or deaths.

Two other facilities in the region — the Glens Falls Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Queensbury and Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center in Troy — received smaller fines of $6,000 and $4,000, respectively, for violations related to PPE use, hand hygiene and disinfection protocols.

Both Barnwell and the Glens Falls Center have experienced the region’s deadliest known coronavirus outbreaks with at least 20 resident deaths in each facility. The Eddy center in Troy has lost at least three residents to the virus.

The state Department of Health has conducted 1,908 on-site inspections (1,165 at nursing homes and 743 at adult care facilities) since the pandemic’s March arrival in New York to ensure facilities are following proper infection prevention and control protocol, spokeswoman Jill Montag said. It has issued 95 citations to 77 nursing homes and levied $328,000 in fines against 23 facilities as a result.

“This only represents a portion of the total number of cases for which we are actively pursuing fines,” Montag said. “The department will continue to hold providers who violate regulations accountable for their actions.”

Barnwell

State health inspectors cited the Barnwell nursing home, a 236-bed facility located in the village of Valatie, for a number of regulatory violations that were allegedly

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