Closings and delays

Winston-Salem care facility downgraded to zero-star rating

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Winston-Salem care facility was downgraded this week from a three-star to a zero-star rating from the NC Division of Health Service Regulation at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Zero stars is the lowest rating a care facility can receive. Any rating below 69.9 points constitutes a zero-star rating. Cornerstone’s rating was below 0 at -20.50.

The center had 80 points deducted from its score for what are called “Type A” violations — those that result “in death or serious physical harm, abuse, neglect, or exploitation.”

Cornerstone Living Center was cited in recent weeks for allowing residents to leave the facility unsupervised and often without signing out.

Behind the center, investigators discovered mattresses crawling with bugs, beer bottles in trees, trash bags and broken bottles strewn throughout the woods. Some Cornerstone residents called the area the “Love Nest,” according to a nearly 200-page report from the DHHS.

The findings added, “Interviews with nine residents… revealed seven of the nine residents frequently have sexual encounters at the facility or at an area with mattresses in the woods, located behind the facility. Two of the nine residents acknowledged they are aware they have a communicable infection. Seven of seven residents who engage in sexual activity do not use protection.”