MONROEVILLE, Pa. — Monroeville Rehabilitation and Wellness Center is the latest nursing home in western Pennsylvania to experience an outbreak of COVID-19. The facility confirmed to 11 Investigates today that it’s had 55 cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks among both residents and staff.
Just last week, the facility reported zero cases to the state, but today that number jumped to more than 50 cases. It wasn’t until after 11 Investigates started asking questions about a possible outbreak at Monroeville Rehab last week that the outbreak was reflected in numbers posted by the state.
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Monroeville Rehab is owned by the same company as Brighton Rehab in Beaver County — Comprehensive Healthcare Management. Brighton had the biggest COVID-19 outbreak in the state, with more than 400 cases and 73 deaths. That facility was criticized by many family members for a lack of transparency.
A resident from Monroeville Rehab first contacted 11 Investigates two weeks ago to say the facility was experiencing an outbreak and had created a “RED ward for Covid patients.”
Nursing homes are required to report a daily count of their COVID-19 cases to the state. But last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health report showed Monroeville Rehab was reporting zero cases.
When asked if it was aware of a possible outbreak at Monroeville Rehab, the state would only point to the zero cases reported by the facility. DOH spokesperson Nate Wardle expressed some frustration at getting nursing homes to report cases accurately, saying in an email: “We have seen all too frequently that facilities are not following the order, as required. We need long-term care facilities to provide this data to the department in a complete and accurate manner.”
Jump in numbers
Today, the state released its weekly report on COVID-19 cases at each nursing home. And finally, after our questions, Monroeville Rehab showed its jump in cases. The facility reported 47 residents tested positive for COVID-19 and seven cases among staff, bringing the number to 54.
In a statement to 11 Investigates today through a public relations firm, the facility's management actually told us it had one additional case — and now has a total of 55 cases:
“There are currently 16 residents at the Facility and 6 staff members home with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Fortunately, there has not been a new diagnosis of COVID-19 in more than a week. The facility now counts 20 residents as ‘resolved,’ and 13 members of the staff have returned to work after medical clearance. While we are continuing to take every precaution and report our data to the appropriate governmental parties, we remain cautiously optimistic that we have turned a corner.”