KANSAS CITY, MO — Bridget Parkhill is worried about her mother – a patient at Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington state, near Seattle, where the first coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have occurred.
"God bless everybody else, but I'm worried about my mom,” Parkill said. “I want her home. I want her home making Joey's grilled cheese sandwiches. I want her home playing with her great grandchildren.”
Nine patients or staff at the center have been diagnosed with coronavirus and four have died.
Parkhill, who is in Kansas City visiting relatives for a few days, told 41 Action News that all patients at Life Care Center are in isolation and confined to their rooms to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Staffers in protective gear bring residents food and check each resident's temperature every hour. According to Parkhill, her 76-year-old mother, Susan, has a cough and occasional shortness of breath, two symptoms of the coronavirus.
Parkhill said she is upset that her mother has not been tested for the virus.
"I want to know why they aren't testing every single person in there," she said.
Parkhill said she is worried that if Life Care Center workers wait until her mother has a fever to test for the coronavirus it might be too late, and she does not want her mother to be a statistic.
Life Care Center issued the following statement late Monday afternoon:
At Life Care Center of Kirkland, we have had several confirmed cases of COVID-19. Testing, confirmation and treatment of the virus is handled by local hospitals after patients who exhibit certain symptoms are sent from our facility to acute care centers. As such, we will defer to the local health authorities for official totals regarding COVID-19.
Current residents and associates continue to be monitored closely, specifically for an elevated temperature, cough and/or shortness of breath. Any resident displaying these symptoms is placed in isolation. Associates are screened prior to beginning work and upon leaving. We are also following infection control recommendations, including proper hand-washing techniques and wearing masks, gowns and gloves when caring for any symptomatic patients. All of these decisions have been made based on recommendations from the state health department and the CDC.
In addition to the above infection control strategies, all visits to the facility from families, volunteers or vendors are not allowed. The facility has also placed a hold on admissions, to fully focus on our current residents and associates. We encourage family members to call the facility if they have specific questions regarding their loved ones. To help keep the phone lines open for family members, please email media inquiries to Leigh_Atherton@LCCA.com.
Our Life Care associates continue to focus on resident care, and we would like to acknowledge how dedicated they have been throughout this entire situation.