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DPH issues evacuation of Waterford nursing home following suspected discovery of asbestos

The state health department says the operator failed to do testing or notify them before beginning renovations.

WATERFORD, Conn. — FOX61 has learned the state health department ordered the evacuation of a nursing home in Waterford after discovering suspected asbestos.

69 residents were evacuated from Greentree Manor.

“I am extremely upset not only just for my grandmother but for every other resident including the employees,” said Nayra Martinez of Griswold.

Martinez’s 93-year-old grandmother, Ada, was one of the dozens of Greentree Manor residents suddenly evacuated following the suspected discovery of asbestos.

The Department of Public Health told FOX61 that operators of Greentree Manor failed to test for asbestos or notify them, as required, prior to beginning a renovation. 

They said, “DPH in consultation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a finding of Immediate Jeopardy.”

Martinez showed FOX61 videos of inside where you can see the torn-up floor tiles and what Martinez claims is mold in the ceiling. Greentree Manor sent FOX61 a statement that said the evacuation was done, “out of an abundance of caution.” going on to say they are, “waiting for the results of the tests.”

Matt Barrett of the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Facilities said the discovery speaks to a larger issue of aging infrastructure. In 1991 a moratorium was put in place by the legislature, banning any new nursing homes from being constructed. 

“I do think we need to revisit that. We also need to revisit the idea that the existing infrastructure we have has a great deal of value and modernizing, renovating and improving it should be an important consideration,” explained Barrett.

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Martinez claims her 93-year-old grandmother spent 2 hours sitting on a bus waiting for transport to a facility she can’t even stay at because they won’t accept her insurance. 

“Confusion. A lot of these residents are here because they have dementia or Alzheimer’s. These patients deserve some sort of dignity and respect and none of that was given to them yesterday,” said Martinez.

DPH has also ordered the nursing home to immediately cover the floor, test all the materials, install negative pressure air cleaners, and to stop accepting new patients. It’s still not clear how long the residents will be displaced.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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