MILFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Calls are growing louder for Connecticut’s governor to shut down a nursing home where nearly half of the residents have COVID-19.
Some staff say the situation is so dire, employees have also caught the virus, leaving one person to care for 50 patients at a time.
Last month, 65-year-old Johnny Johnson was put in a room with three others at the Golden Hill Rehab Pavilion in Milford. His niece, Keisha Johnson, told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner on Monday he was being treated for an infection he caught from a colonoscopy.
“He was doing rehab and wasn’t nothing wrong. He was fine. He wasn’t sick,” Keisha Johnson said.
But last Wednesday, she got a voicemail from the facility saying his condition changed. And the next day she was told he was found unresponsive.
“The funeral home made us aware that he had the COVID-19,” Keisha said.
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Louis Jackson’s wife, Barbara, also has COVID-19. The 77-year-old was recovering from hip surgery there for a week, but she’s now sedated and on oxygen in the hospital.
“People there weren’t wearing masks. Now, this is during the lockdown and the place was locked down from visitors,” Jackson said. “The fact that 40 people come down in a matter of days tells me something’s going on there.”
One employee told Rozner by phone, “It’s like a war zone because there’s no staff. I don’t think people have been getting showers, because they don’t want to move people from their rooms.”
Meghan Wright’s relative works there.
“The majority of these people are people that can’t advocate for themselves,” Wright said. “People that have Alzheimer’s, people that have diapers.”
The executive director of Golden Hill told CBS2 by e-mail, “The postings on the Facebook and Twitter were false. The state of Connecticut investigated it and came to the same conclusion. We just increased our pay rates to offset this crisis. Please tell your readers, RNs $50, LPN $35, and CNA $25 an hour.”
“I absolutely think it should be shut down,” Louis Jackson said.
“How did a whole life get into your hands for three weeks and it’s gone?” Keisha Johnson added.
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There are 215 nursing homes in Connecticut. Of those, 31% have at least one confirmed case of coronavirus.
Gov. Ned Lamont’s Office said it’s checking on the facility daily to verify staffing. It’s also investigating how families are being notified.