Maryland Health Dept. fines nursing home $10k daily over alleged COVID-19 regulation violations

The fine is the first issued since the pandemic began
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Posted at 11:49 AM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 12:01:39-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Health has fined its first nursing home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey taken at Sagepoint Living in La Plata from April 21 through May 6, found them to be in violation of state regulations.

"Conditions at your facility posed immediate and serious jeopardy to the health and safety of your residents," the Office of Health Care Quality said in a letter sent to the facility.

According to the survey, Sagepoint Living "failed to implement an effective infection control program in accordance with standards of care and the guidelines provided [by local, state, and federal agencies] during a declared State of emergency and healthcare pandemic."

The survey cites Sagepoint's failure to get critical lab results back in a timely manner, and failing to separate suspected or known COVID-19 positive residents .

Based off the survey's findings, the department slapped Sagepoint with a $10,000 daily fine dating back to March 30. The fine is expected to be issued daily until the department determines that the facility is in compliance with State regulations.

This week, nursing homes have begun universally testing staff and residents throughout the state to contain the virus.

Nursing homes have been severely impacted by the virus, and prompted Governor Larry Hogan to sign a slew of executive orders including face mask requirements and changes to case reporting.

So far there have been 6,218 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff and residents at state congregate facilities including 804 deaths.