PARMA, Ohio (WJW) — Families are turning to the I-TEAM to share the heartbreaking fallout from a “cluster” of COVID-19 cases in one local nursing home.
This week, state and local health officials announced they are investigating what they call a cluster of people infected with the coronavirus at the Manor Care nursing home in Parma.
And, even after that announcement, the I-TEAM found an ambulance taking away yet another patient possibly infected with the virus.
Now families are opening up to the I TEAM.
Mark Borchick told us his 93-year-old mother, Leatrice, just died. He said she’d been at Manor Care, and then she had to be rushed to the hospital. And there, Borchick said she tested positive for COVID-19.
He said he had no idea of a possible outbreak until he spoke to a doctor the night his mother went to the ER.
“I thought she was safe,” he said.
He says someone should have alerted him earlier to the virus, which he calls a “lurking monster.”
“The nursing homes need to be more transparent about what’s going on instead of worrying about corporate liability,” he said.
The nursing home released a statement saying staff is going “above and beyond taking care of patients and keeping families up to date.”
Manor Care says four patients tested positive for the virus and went to the hospital. One tested positive and stayed there in isolation. Nine workers also tested positive and went into quarantine off the job.
We also spoke to the wife of an 89-year-old patient. She told us she’s confident he’s getting good care, but she’s worried he could be the next person infected. She’s forced to visit only through a window because of this virus.
“It’s left me with a lot of anxiety knowing we can’t even enter the place,” she said. “We miss him. We love him. We notice he’s losing weight.”
The state health department is investigating how the virus got into the nursing home and how it spread.
A spokesperson for the nursing home sent the following email:
“We contacted families as soon as we had information from the hospital or DOH (Department of Health). We remain in regular contact with families. Any patient who may be high risk is monitored and isolated. We have reduced our temperature screening to 99 degrees to ensure we are catching any symptoms as early as possible. We have patients, we felt were at higher risk, improving and moving out of isolation. The DOH has praised our team’s efforts in infection control and managing the spread. “
The nursing home is also holding all new admissions, increasing sanitizing and cleaning, and reviewing supplies of masks and gowns and protective equipment for employees.