MILTON — A survey conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) three days after the first linked cases of COVID-19 were identified at the Milton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center identified “no deficient practice” in one case investigated there. However, a DOH spokesperson noted that report focused on a single complaint.

A summary of an Abbreviated Complaint Survey completed Aug. 6 regarding the nursing center was released this week by the DOH.

The summary states “no deficient practice” was identified related to “the reported complaint allegations.”

Nate Wardle, DOH press secretary, said the nature of the complaint which was was investigated cannot be released as all complaints are confidential.

“It is important to note that for complaint investigations, our surveys are focused on practices related to the complaint,” Wardle said. “Other deficiencies noted while investigating would be cited, if identified.”

He said some surveys take longer to complete than others.

“Just because that survey is publicly available, it doesn’t necessarily mean we may not have had inspectors in surveying other issues at the same time,” Wardle said. “It is possible that another survey may not be publicly available yet, but could be coming soon.”

According to information previously released by the DOH, the first linked cases of COVID-19 were identified at the facility Aug. 3, with the DOH on that date providing early consultation to the facility.

On Aug. 4, Geisinger Health System was first on site and advised the center on proper use and fitting of PPE.

The DOH and the Department of Human Services announced Wednesday, Aug. 18, that a National Guard team had been deployed to assist at the nursing center for five days. In addition, Senior Health Care Solutions of Scranton was announced to have temporarily taken over management of the facility.

According to statistics issued Tuesday by the DOH, 109 residents and 56 staff members of the facility have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since August. Thirty-three resident have died of the virus, an increase of one over the previous week.

The DOH lists the facility of having a capacity of 138 residents, with 39 currently residing there, a decrease of two from the previous week.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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