Symphony of Morgan Park releases COVID-19 statistics showing 194 COVID infections and 22 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
On June 5, 2020, Symphony of Morgan Park, located in Chicago, IL, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 194 infections and 22 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Based on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Quarterly Reports of Nursing Home Violations, Symphony of Morgan Park was found to be in violation of several procedures.
In Quarter 1 of 2018 (January – March), Symphony of Morgan Park was fined for Type B violations including, but not limited to, sections 300.610(a), 300.121(b), and 300.1210(d)(6). More specifically, a February 20, 2018 survey found that Symphony of Morgan Park had failed to provide adequate care to a resident when he was found on the floor after a fall, where he sustained an abrasion to the nose, a hematoma to the right forehead, an intracranial bleed, and a possible spinal fracture.
In Quarter 2 of 2017 (April – June), Symphony of Morgan Park was fined for Type B violations including sections 300.1210(b), 300.1210(d)(6), and 300.3240(a) when a resident fell while the staff pushed them to the shower room in their shower chair. The resident sustained injuries including a left intertrochanteric femoral neck fracture. A subsequent fall investigation revealed that the malfunctioning of a wheel on the shower chair may have contributed to the resident’s fall.
The Illinois Department of Public Health conducts annual recertification surveys in which nursing homes are subjected to a review of their regulatory histories, as well as any violations occurring at the facility. When a facility is found to be in violation, the facility is required to submit a plan of correction noting both how it will remedy the violation and how it will prevent similar violations in the future.
A recertification survey was conducted for Symphony of Morgan Park on June 9, 2016. During the survey, Symphony of Morgan Park was found to be in violation of several regulations, including those governing infection control and spread prevention, when a staff member failed to the facility’s hand washing policy when she did not wash her hands for fifteen seconds. Additionally, the facility failed to store several items pursuant to their infection control policy, such as resident’s body cleanser and shampoo, used wash basins, and toothbrushes. In response, the facility submitted a plan of correction which included measures such as educating staff about infection control and prevention measures, monitoring and properly storing resident’s belongings, and review of daily care rounds for compliance.
Despite addressing several violations in the plan of correction regarding the facility’s 2016 recertification survey, the facility was also cited for several violations in 2017, 2018, and 2019. These surveys cited the facility for violations including, but not limited to, the failure to follow the physician’s orders, failure to provide adequate pain management, failure to ensure that food was handled properly, and failure to ensure that the front door of the facility was monitored to ensure that residents did not leave.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Symphony of Morgan Park operated with insufficient staff and with a lack of adherence to recognized infection control protocols. It is not surprising that they were ill equipped to handle this outbreak.”
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As COVID-19 continues to spread, it has also magnified systemic breakdowns within Illinois’ long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or assisted living centers. After this latest release of reported data by IDPH, more than half of the COVID-19-related fatalities in Illinois have now occurred at these facilities.