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Salisbury nursing home that had multiple COVID-19 outbreaks closes

The Citadel Salisbury had one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in North Carolina in 2020. It closed earlier this month.

SALISBURY, N.C. — The Citadel Salisbury, a nursing home that had one of North Carolina's largest COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020, has closed, a security company at the property confirmed to WCNC Charlotte. 

A class-action lawsuit was filed against the home last May, alleging "severe systematic understaffing" caused by the owner's business model, which resulted in poor treatment of residents. According to Rowan County records, there were 189 COVID-19 infections at The Citadel Salisbury and 18 deaths linked to the virus. 

The plaintiffs alleged when ownership of The Citadel changed in early 2020, new ownership promised "5-star" service but instead was rated as a "one-star facility" by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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WCNC Charlotte attempted to contact the owners Thursday but those attempts were redirected to security, who said the business closed last Friday, June 17. No further details were given.

The Citadel Salisbury's agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was terminated on May 19. CMS said it was terminating the agreement for "failure to meet Medicare's basic health and safety requirements." 

In a 169-page report from the Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS detailed infractions made inside by staff. Some examples included alleged sexual assault. 

"Based on observations, the facility failed to protect a resident's right to be free from abuse when another resident offered that resident money in favor of intimate activities," the report reads. 

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