The Times Herald-Record, in Middletown, New York, reports that Monticello Manor adult home has been shut down by the State of New York’s Department of Health:
According to the state’s order, health department inspectors found violations of law “which constitute an imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the facility’s residents.”
The order says the building’s flat roof needs replacement, and that leaks have caused “severe structural degradation” and that the ceilings of six rooms have partially collapsed, plaster walls are peeling or bubbling, adjoining rooms and halls have water damage and steel ceiling support struts are rusting.
The order says “a foul smell of mold permeates the air. Water stains, mold and a generally moist environment are present,” and protection against the elements is “substantially compromised.”
As you likely suspect by its mention here, yes, the conditions included a bad infestation of bed bugs:
On May 2, inspectors found live and dead bedbugs and bedbug eggs in 40 beds. Inspectors saw several residents with bedbug bites, who reported complaining to the adult home’s staff for months about the problem. No corrective action has taken place, the DOH said.
The Health Department order suspends Monticello Manor’s operating license, and the state is preparing an order to permanently revoke the license and impose civil penalties on the operator, Charles Benson.
All seventy residents are being relocated. Forty beds contained “bed bugs and bed bug eggs”.
As in the case of Evie Kelly, complaints about bed bugs were made and not acted on for some time (in the case of Monticello Manor, this went on for “months”).
And only “several residents” complained about bed bug bites.
Managers of adult residences (such as this one), dorms, senior housing, and other facilities need to be more proactive about bed bugs. It is not sufficient to wait until large numbers of people come to complain.
This story reminds us that they won’t.
A few people will come, and they will often represent huge numbers of people who may not be aware what is causing their problem, or may not be aware they have one, or who may fear repercussions for complaining about bed bugs.
The complaints of those who do step forward must be taken seriously. Bed bugs should be searched for aggressively, whenever someone comes forward to complain. Because in so many of these cases, those complaints represent a fraction of the people affected by bed bugs.