No fines for local nursing homes with staff vaccination violations


October 3 – CUMBERLAND – For weeks, some area nursing homes violated a Maryland requirement that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Despite threats of sanctions from state officials, no local facility has been fined.

According to the Maryland Department of Health protocols that went into effect on September 1, all staff in nursing facilities must receive their first or only dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Healthcare establishments that do not comply with vaccination protocols or do not report their vaccination data are liable to civil and financial penalties and to coercive measures.

“Healthcare facilities that still have low percentages of staff with a COVID-19 vaccine and those that do not report data put the health and safety of our elderly relatives at risk,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader via a press release this week. “We will continue to take enforcement action against them, including increasing fines.”

MDH on Monday released its weekly “Top 10 and Bottom 10” list of qualified nursing homes and assembly facilities in the state ranked by percentage of staff with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The “Top 10” list included Devlin Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at 93%, Garrett County Subacute Unit, and Allegany Nursing and Rehabilitation at 92% each.

The “bottom 10” list included Cumberland Healthcare Center at 50% and Sterling Care in Frostburg Village and Dennett Road Manor in Garrett County each at 54%.

None of the three had received civil financial penalties “for failing to follow vaccination protocols,” MDH deputy director of media relations Andy Owen said by email as of Friday.

Details were not available at that time, but will be in the near future, he said.

MDH provided a list of state CMPs imposed on nursing homes in Allegany and Garrett counties from March 1, 2020 to September 30 of this year.

It included fines of $ 6,250 on November 18, 2020 and $ 1,750 on July 23 for the Cumberland Healthcare Center. MDH did not provide reasons for the fines, but said they were unrelated to COVID-19 vaccinations for staff members.

Officials at CommuniCare, owner of Cumberland Healthcare Center, were not immediately available for comment on Friday.

According to the Maryland Coronavirus website, at Allegany County assembly facilities on Wednesday, there had been 362 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death among staff members, and 410 resident cases with 72 deaths.

The only information listed on the Garrett County website was eight cases of COVID-19 from staff.

“The data is based on reports from facilities to MDH,” the website said.

State, local cases

On Friday, MDH reported 1,530 new cases of COVID-19, 17 more deaths and 21 fewer hospitalizations across the state in the past 24 hours.

According to the Allegany County Health Department on Friday, the rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people was 53.36.

“The case rate has declined from a peak of 81.56 early last week, but the county rate remains well above Maryland’s rate (of) 20.67 per 100,000 population,” said the ‘ACHD in a press release.

“As of September 30, 44.7% of Allegany County residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to 64.4% of all Marylanders,” the statement said. “COVID-19 vaccines are available at local pharmacies, emergency care clinics, pediatric offices, and some primary care providers.”

Garrett County reported that its case rate per 100,000 people was 63.02 and 48.8% of residents were fully immunized.


From September 24-30, Allegany High School met the MDH’s definition of a school-wide epidemic.

“This school, along with Fort Hill High School, Mountain Ridge High School and the Career Center remain on the MDH list of schools with school-wide epidemics,” the chief information officer said. Allegany County Public School Public, Mia Cross, in a press release Friday.

“There have been no schools with reported class or cohort epidemics,” she said.

“The CSGA had six staff members and 46 students reported positive for COVID-19 during this time,” Cross said.

“Three staff members and 141 students have been identified as close contact with an HIV-positive person,” she said. “Those who are in close contact go through a 10-20 day quarantine period, depending on their personal circumstances.”

Teresa McMinn is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. She can be reached at 304-639-2371 or [email protected]


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