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DeKALB - The DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center was informed Monday that it failed a June 3 COVID-19 infection prevention compliance test conducted by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The main violation, according to documents obtained by the Daily Chronicle, stated two members of the IDPH inspection team were not subjected to temperature checks or COVID-19 screening questions prior to entering the building.
Upon learning of the lack of screening after the surveyors were in the building for more than 3 hours, a person referred to as an unnamed administrator in the compliance report said it was the rehab facility's mistake.
"Yes, IDPH surveyors should be screened too," the administrator said, documents show. "We missed you both. Sorry about that. It was our mistake."
On June 3 shortly after 9 a.m., two IDPH surveyors entered the facility, which is home currently to 136 residents, through the front door and sat in the conference room, documents show. After a meeting with a center administrator (who is unnamed in the documents) and the director of nurses, the IDPH surveyors left the conference room shortly before 9:30 a.m. and entered the residential unit, each going to a separate resident wing in the building.
Neither had their temperature taken or was asked to complete a COVID-19 questionnaire, documents show, and the IDPH staff remained inside the center until 12:35 p.m. that day.
The IDPH compliance report found the lack of screenings was contrary to what the nursing home center administration said was standard protocol.
That same morning on June 3, an unnamed infection control coordinator for the center said "Everyone gets screened," documents show, which includes a temperature check and filling out the questionnaire for exposure or symptoms. Another center staff person told the surveyors, "I hope you got screened when you came in," documents show.
On Tuesday, the building's administrator, Steve Duchene, said in an email he could not comment because the IDPH survey process was still open.
DCRNC has just three confirmed cases, all among the staff. It was the first long-term care facility in the county to have a confirmed case, reported May 15, but has not had a mass outbreak, though COVID-19 testing was not completed facility-wide for 12 days after the first case was announced due to what administrators called logistics.
On June 3, the day of the inspection, the center also announced two new cases among staff members.
In a letter sent to the facility by IDPH Monday, addressed to Duchene, the center was instructed to remedy the noncompliance in four areas. It must perform a root cause analysis in order to determine why the screening was missed, undergo a review of its infection control policy and procedure, and all staff must receive training on the facility infection and control process with an emphasis on visitor screening, documents show.
In addition, the facility must develop an audit tool to monitor compliance, with the administrator or director of nursing auditing the data collection form for completion weekly until the pandemic is over. The director of nursing or another designee will report the results of the audits with the facility's interdisciplinary team during a weekly meeting.
Additionally, the nursing home must provide IDPH with documentation that the requested remedies were completed before a revisit, documents show.
The IDPH also recommended the center be subject to a Civil Money Penalty, and potentially a termination of provider agreement beginning December 3.
In response, the nursing center is eligible to submit evidence in lieu of an onsite revisit to determine further compliance, documents show, or dispute the noncompliance formally with the state health department.