State Health Department Declares Urgent Need For Nurses In Grady County Senior Facility Outbreak

Jul 25, 2020

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps, a medical and public health volunteer system that is part of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, put out an "urgent weekend request" for nurses and nursing assistants due to an "outbreak" at a long-term care facility in the Grady County city of Tuttle. 

"Tuttle Care Center is in need of dependable volunteers to work in response to a COVID-19 outbreak affecting residents and staff," says the bulletin on the OKMRC website. There is an urgent request for Registered Nurses, License Practical Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants, who will work in 8 hour shifts from 7 AM - 3 PM 3 pm-11 pm and 11 PM - 7 AM. Volunteers must work the full shift."

While the call for volunteers says "full PPE," hotel rooms and meals will be provided by the facility, it also goes on to state that volunteers "will need to provide your own N95 mask that you have been fit tested with."

A person who answered the listed phone number for Tuttle Care Center and identified themselves as a nurse said that, while the facility is always in need of nurses, there was no current outbreak there.

"We just have one person positive, thank goodness for that, and they're in isolation. No outbreak," they said.

Calls and emails for the state department of health on Saturday afternoon were not immediately returned.

According to records from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services compiled by the news organization ProPublica, an inspection in February of 2019 found that Tuttle Care Center had 38 residents in the facility, but found a "deficiency" in staffing.

As of Saturday, a Medicare report indicated that the facility ranks "below average" for "quality of resident care."