California nursing home fined nearly $100K for COVID-19-related workplace violations

California state workplace regulators issued one of the largest fines yet to a Bakersfield, CA nursing home for COVID-19 related workplace violations, according to local media reports.

Kingston Healthcare Center, a 184-bed skilled nursing facility, received a fine of $92,500 as a result of numerous violations detailed in a 23-page citation report issued by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of California last month. Nearly 200 staff members and residents at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March, noted The Bakersfield Californian. Nineteen residents have died.

Some of the most serious citations from Cal/OSHA said Kingston did not establish and implement procedures to protect workers from COVID-19. Four employees spent time in the hospital as a result of COVID-19 complications. Those penalties alone cost about $87,000.

The facility’s outbreak occurred in April and May and strained staffing so much that a state medical strike team was sent in by the state to allow Kingston to continue operating, the media outlet reported.

No additional recent infections had been reported at the facility, as of last week.

“We think they’ve addressed the systemic issues they were having where they made improvements but … we keep a very close eye out on their practices and infection control procedures because it’s really important,” Kern County Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine told the Bakersfield California.

The facility did not immediately respond to a request for comments from McKnight’s Business Daily on Monday.