A fifth person has died as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak at Dover Manor.

A 78-year-old woman died Thursday evening and was the fifth person to die over the past 10 days in the long-term facility.

The state Office of Inspector General and the WEDCO Health District have opened an investigation into Dover Manor, sparked by complaints from families of residents, employees and ex-employees, Dr. Crystal Miller, WEDCO public health director confirmed.

Dover Manor officials insist they are following safety protocols, but the News-Graphic has been in contact with several employees, ex-employees and family members of residents who claim protocols have not been enforced and conditions within the facility are not safe or sanitary.

This week another employee notified the News-Graphic about conditions inside Dover Manor. The employee asked to remain anonymous.

“There’s black mold everywhere,” the employee said. “Rusted paint that flakes off. No one wears hair nets. We are severely understaffed.

“Gloves and masks are not worn inside the kitchen due to the (air conditioning) being broke for over three months and it being 100 degrees on a typical shift. Our steamer doesn’t work, and sometimes we are forced to serve cold food. There is exposed rust.

“There isn’t a single department within Dover Manor that isn’t severely understaffed. There is one (certified nurse assistant) for all of the residents. We won’t get paid if we get COVID. They’re telling employees they can work in the ‘COVID Unit,’ if they have COVID. The kitchen is overloaded with bugs. Roaches and ants. Nothing gets cleaned. One in the kitchen has their license to work in the kitchen. PPE is not worn throughout the building. The drains back up constantly and literal poop will come up through the floor, through the soles of our shoes, in the kitchen.

“Food never comes out on time and never comes out in a timely manner. Due to being short staffed, it takes up to four hours for food to get served to residents after the kitchen hands it out. Residents do not get changed or showered as often as they should due to being short staffed. They’re lucky if they done every two days. They shower one person per week. There are pipes that leak all over the floor in the kitchen, even in our freezers.”

Dover Manor’s Pat Wise, vice president of rehab services, said in an email Dover Manor has safety protocols are in place and regular testing is being done. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are isolated and on Aug. 20 the number of confirmed cases within the facility was 13 residents. 

The latest numbers from WEDCO report 59 residents have confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 27 staff members for a total of 86 cases. Eight staff members and 22 residents have recovered, leaving 32 residents and 19 staff members for a total of 51 with active cases of the coronavirus. There has been five deaths attributed to COVID-19 at Dover Manor.

As of Aug. 20, Dover Manor had 73 residents and 109 employees, Wise said.

Wise has asked that questions be emailed to her at Dover Manor. Last week, the News-Graphic emailed another set of questions, but we have not received a response.


Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com.

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