AHCA suspends new admissions at Brandon assisted living facility after found with no COVID-19 plan

Posted at 4:35 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 16:35:39-04

BRANDON, Fla. — The Agency for Healthcare Administration is suspending new admissions at Alafia Village in Brandon after the agency found it didn't have a COVID-19 plan.

In a document released by the state, it says on July 4, three residents tested positive for COVID-19. As of July 6, those residents were not moved from their rooms to any sort of isolation unit. None of those patients had been seen by a medical provider, either.

The state also says it asked the Alafia Village for their COVID-19 infection control policies, in which they were told no such policies existed.

The facility also told the state the only personal protective equipment they had were cloth masks, surgical masks and gloves.

According to the report, on July 6, a staff member could be seen entering the room of a COVID-19 positive patient wearing only a cloth mask and gloves. That staff member cleaned up the room from their afternoon meal and then was observed entering the staff break room.

The state says the staff member did not remove their PPE or wash their hands.

In the break room, the staff member encountered another patient, who was COVID-19 negative and touched the resident with her gloved hands. The state says it was after that the staff member removed her gloves and washed her hands.

Shortly after, according to the state, the same staff member entered another room of a COVID-19 positive resident. She repositioned the resident, helped the patient eat and then repositioned the patient again.

The staff member removed her gloves and shut the door to the patient's room. The staff member admitted she has never worn a gown, face shield or N95 face mask while caring for patients.

The state also observed a COVID-19 positive resident walking a hallway with no protective gear.

The facility administrator told AHCA investigators that there would be no room change or dedicated staff to care for a COVID-19 patient.

The administrator said the use of Lysol, surgical and cloth masks and gloves would be sufficient. Staff members also told the state they received no training on caring for COVID-19 patients, according to the report.

In the emergency order, AHCA determined that Alafia Village failed to meet minimum licensure standards. The state says there is an immediate serious danger to the public health and safety of the patients in the facility.

We reached to Alafia Village for a statement but never heard back.