A lawsuit alleges the Pennsylvania Department of Health halted inspections at long-term care facilities during the coronavirus outbreak

Written by on April 29, 2020

A lawsuit alleges the Pennsylvania Department of Health halted inspections at long-term care facilities during the coronavirus outbreak

By Tyler Pratt

April 29, 2020

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has been accused of halting inspections at long-term care facilities during the coronavirus outbreak. As WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports, a class-action lawsuit alleges a lack of oversight allowed rapid spread of COVID-19 assisted living centers.

The allegations stem from a Beaver County nursing home, where a resident’s family has filed suit against the state. In addition to highlighting concerns about spread of the virus, the lawsuit charges that a lack of inspections allowed the facility to conduct unauthorized medical experiments — using the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus without approval from an institutional review board.

At her daily press briefing, State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said she could not comment on the lawsuit and did not say if the state had halted inspections.

“But we are following the CMS – the center for medicare and medicaid services recommendation and guidelines in terms of inspections and then we have put out our own pennsylvania state guidelines which are consistent with those,” said Dr. Levine. 

The CMS guidelines recommend restricting all visitors with exceptions for compassionate care.

Lehigh and Northampton counties currently have a high rate of COVID-19 infections in long term care homes. There are more than 900 cases in 33 facilities.


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