The Louisiana Department of Health confirmed Thursday (September 2) that four deaths were reported at a mass shelter for relocated residents of seven nursing home facilities. Three of the deaths have been classified as storm-related, but the exact causes of death have not been confirmed by the coroner.
More than 700 people have been relocated from the Tangipahoa Parish facility after the department learned of poor conditions following Hurricane Ida, FOX 8 Live reports. During the transport, 12 individuals were determined to need hospitalization.
Residents from the following facilities had been transported to the mass shelter ahead of Hurricane Ida:
- River Palms Nursing and Rehab – Orleans Parish
- South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab – Lafourche Parish
- Maison Orleans Healthcare Center – Orleans Parish
- Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home – Jefferson Parish
- West Jefferson Health Care Center – Jefferson Parish
- Maison DeVille Nursing Home – Terrbonne Parish
- Maison DeVille Nursing Home of Harvey – Jefferson Parish
Inspectors reportedly tried to assess the facility earlier this week but were turned away.
"Upon hearing of deteriorating conditions at the facility after Hurricane Ida made landfall, LDH inspectors promptly visited the site but were expelled from the property and prevented from conducting a full assessment on Tuesday," the department said in a statement, adding, "We have significant concerns about conditions in this facility."
As of Thursday morning, 721 residents had been "rescued" from the facility, but LDH is working with state and local agencies to find safe placements for all 843 patients, starting with the most vulnerable.
"This is a serious and active investigation," the statement continued. "We will be taking action against these nursing facilities, and will be making appropriate referrals to law enforcement."