COVID-19 hits one in six Iowa nursing homes but inspectors cite few violations

The Iowa agency tasked with advocating for nursing home residents has dramatically scaled back visits to those facilities. (Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Iowa’s nursing home inspectors have reported no infection-control issues in some of the facilities with the biggest COVID-19 outbreaks, newly disclosed state records show.

The records indicate more than 2,584 Iowa nursing home residents and workers have been infected with COVID-19, with outbreaks confirmed at one of every six Iowa nursing homes.

There are 20 Iowa homes with current, active COVID-19 outbreaks, the Iowa Department of Public Health says, and they involve roughly 500 infections. An additional 52 homes have been the site of outbreaks now considered resolved.

The Iowa home that has experienced the largest number of infections is the Good Shepherd Health Center in Mason City, home to 179 older Iowans.

At least 108 residents and workers at Good Shepherd have been infected with COVID-19, according to IDPH. But less than four weeks ago, on June 25, state inspectors visited the home and reported it was entirely in compliance with federally recommended practices for responding to COVID-19.

Other Iowa homes where state inspectors recently found no violations of COVID-19 guidelines, despite current, major outbreaks of the virus, include:

  • Sunny View Care Center in Ankeny, where inspectors found no violations of federal COVID-19 guidelines while on site there earlier this month. Sunny View is home to 71 older Iowans, and is currently the site of an outbreak involving 68 staff and residents.
  • The Accura Care Center in Ames, where inspectors reported no issues related to COVID-19 guidelines during their June 9 inspection of the home. Accura is currently the site of an outbreak involving 45 staff and residents. The home has 71 residents.
  • Willow Gardens Care Center in Marion, which was visited by inspectors the week of June 15. The inspectors reported zero violations of the federal COVID guidelines. The facility is home to 65 residents and is now the site of an outbreak involving 38 people.
  • Grandview Heights Care Center in Marshalltown, the site of a current outbreak involving 33 residents and staff. State inspectors visited the home on June 22 and reported no violations of COVID-19 guidelines.

State inspectors have reported coronavirus-related violations in some of the Iowa homes with confirmed outbreaks. In recent weeks, they have cited Dubuque Specialty Care, the Mitchell Village Care Center in Mitchellville, and the Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa for violations related to the  pandemic. At the Dubuque home, where 11 residents have died of the virus, inspectors said three workers with symptoms of COVID-19 were allowed to work in the home and later tested positive for COVID-19.

The 72 Iowa homes that have experienced outbreaks represent one-sixth of the 439 nursing homes in Iowa. Those facilities have a total capacity of roughly 30,450 beds. The state is not tracking outbreaks in Iowa’s 384 assisted living centers, which are home to roughly 23,000 older Iowans living in congregate settings.

Some of the data reported by IDPH appears to be either incomplete or outdated. For example, IDPH is still reporting a total of 25 infections at Risen Son Christian Village in Council Bluffs, days after the facility itself announced it had a total of 30 infections and three deaths in the home.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 434 Iowans in nursing homes have died.

The 20 Iowa homes with current outbreaks, and the total number of staff and residents infected, are:

  1. The Good Shepherd Health Center in Mason City (108 cases)
  2. Sunny View Care Center in Ankeny (68 cases)
  3. Newton Health Care Center in Newton (53 cases)
  4. Accura Healthcare in Ames (45 cases)
  5. Willow Gardens Care Center in Marion (38 cases)
  6. Grandview Heights Care Center in Marshalltown (33 cases)
  7. Risen Son Christian Village in Council Bluffs (26 cases)
  8. The Touchstone Healthcare Community in Sioux City (20 cases)
  9. Solon Nursing Care Center in Solon (17 cases)
  10. Karen Acres Health Care Center in Urbandale (16 cases)
  11. Sheffield Care Center in Sheffield (15 cases)
  12. The Good Samaritan Home in Newell (13 cases)
  13. The Good Samaritan home in George (11 cases)
  14. Valley Vue Care Center in Armstrong (8 cases)
  15. The Good Samaritan home in LeMars (8 cases)
  16. Rehabilitation Center of Hampton in Hampton (6 cases)
  17. Norwalk Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Norwalk (6 cases)
  18. Winslow House Care Center in Marion (5 cases)
  19. Parkridge Specialty Care in Pleasant Hill (3 cases)
  20. Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Gowrie (3 cases)

The 52 Iowa nursing homes that have experienced confirmed outbreaks that have since been resolved, along with their total number of staff and resident infections, are:

  1. Pillar of Cedar Valley in Waterloo (59 cases)
  2. NewAldaya Lifescapes in Cedar Falls (36 cases)
  3. Harmony House Health Care Center in Waterloo (91 cases)
  4. Friendship Village Retirement Center in Waterloo (51 cases)
  5. Bartels Lutheran Retirement Home in Waverly (31 cases)
  6. Pleasant View Home in Kalona (11 cases)
  7. The Alverno Senior Care Community in Clinton (3 cases)
  8. Granger Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Granger (56 cases)
  9. Arbor Springs in West Des Moines (37 cases)
  10. Rowley Memorial Masonic Home in Perry (32 cases)
  11. Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Perry (11 cases)
  12. Edgewood Convalescent Home in Edgewood (10 cases)
  13. Azria Health Prairie Ridge in Mediapolis (4 cases)
  14. Accura Healthcare in Milford (11 cases)
  15. Dubuque Specialty Care in Dubuque (52 cases)
  16. Accura Healthcare in Newton (41 cases)
  17. Wesley Park Centre in Newton (27 cases)
  18. Linn Manor Care Center in Marion (40 cases)
  19. ManorCare Health Services in Cedar Rapids (50 cases)
  20. Living Center West in Cedar Rapids (82 cases)
  21. Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids (6 cases)
  22. Heritage Specialty Care in in Cedar Rapids (116 cases)
  23. Wapello Specialty Care in Wapello (48 cases)
  24. Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa (79 cases)
  25. Accura Healthcare in Marshalltown (58 cases)
  26. Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown (38 cases)
  27. Oakwood Specialty Care in Albia (44 cases)
  28. The Good Samaritan home in Villisca (6 cases)
  29. Pearl Valley Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Muscatine (81 cases)
  30. Wilton Retirement Community in Wilton (33 cases)
  31. Lutheran Living Senior Campus in Muscatine (33 cases)
  32. Rehabilitation Center of Des Moines in Des Moines (19 cases)
  33. Trinity Center at Luther Park in Des Moines (99 cases)
  34. Mill Pond Health Care in Ankeny (7 cases)
  35. University Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Des Moines (70 cases)
  36. Polk City Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Polk City (22 cases)
  37. Ramsey Village in Des Moines (14 cases)
  38. Fleur Heights Center for Wellness & Rehab Center in Des Moines (45 cases)
  39. Calvin Community in Des Moines (24 cases)
  40. Altoona Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Altoona (21 cases)
  41. Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston (103 cases)
  42. Mitchell Village Care Center in Mitchellville (35 cases)
  43. On With Life in Ankeny (39 cases)
  44. Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center in Des Moines (7 cases)
  45. St. Francis Manor in Grinnell (74 cases)
  46. Bethany Life in Story City (22 cases)
  47. Sunnycrest Nursing Center in Dysart (12 cases)
  48. Westbrook Acres in Gladbrook (46 cases)
  49. Premier Estates in Toledo (52 cases)
  50. Vista Woods Care Center in Ottumwa (36 cases)
  51. The McCreedy Home in Washington (30 cases)
  52. Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City (28 cases)