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Blair Police investigating Carter Place on directed health measures

A separate DHHS investigation found "the facility did protect residents from infection."
Posted at 3:19 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 19:10:39-04

BLAIR, Neb. (KMTV) — The Blair Police Department is investigating Carter Place, the assisted living center in Blair where 13 of 23 residents contracted the coronavirus.

The department is investigating the facility's compliance with directed health measures and is working with Three Rivers Health Department.

"The Blair Police Department has been requested by the Washington County Attorney's Office to investigate the circumstances and timeline of the coronavirus outbreak at the Carter house assisted living facility in Blair," wrote Blair Police Captain Aaron J. Barrow in a statement to 3 News Now. "The focus of the investigation will be to determine if the response was in accordance with the Directed Health Measures set forth by the State of Nebraska."

A spokesperson for Enlivant, the corporate owner of the facility, said the company has not yet been contacted about any investigations.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services conducted a separate investigation finding that "the facility did protect residents from infection." The investigation was conducted by the department's Licensure Unit, but the letter states "it may be possible that your facility will receive additional findings from other divisions who have also participated in the investigation/assessment of these same or similar allegations."

The letter, dated April 2, was provided to 3 News Now by Enlivant. A DHHS spokesperson confirmed the letter, but said she cannot comment on if there are additional investigations.

An Enlivant spokesperson said: “Carter Place continues to work with all agencies at the state and local level, and last week, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Carter Place was in compliance with assisted living rules put in place to protect residents from infection. We are continuing to work in partnership with local health officials on enhanced COVID-19 training and other steps as we prepare to re-open the community in the coming weeks. The health and safety of both residents and staff always has been and continues to be our top priority. This has been a difficult situation and we’re grateful to our local and state partners who are supporting Carter Place with continued guidance.”

On Wednesday, the 3 News Now Investigators reported information from a Carter Place employee, who told 3 News Now the assisted living facility mishandled the growing concerns about coronavirus in the facility. Many of her complaints were backed up by information from the Three Rivers Health Department.

Update, 4:25 p.m.: This story was updated to add comment from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.