‘I’m angry:’ Second worker at SA nursing home with 15 COVID-19 deaths voices concerns about facility’s response

Nurse Minnie Monroe worked through March 27, days before deadly outbreak

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SAN ANTONIOEditor’s note: Watch the 10 p.m. Nightbeat on KSAT12 for more on this story.

A second health care worker at Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is now describing what she witnessed inside the long-term care facility in the days leading up to a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.

As of Monday, 16 residents had died — nearly half of the county death toll related to the virus — and more than 100 residents and staff were still battling the virus. Last week, a former staff therapist told KSAT that she resigned after warning management of another staff member’s potential exposure 10 days before the outbreak was publicly announced.

“I did the job. And they know that. They know it, and they know I’m angry. I am angry. I am. I’m angry,” said Minnie Monroe, a vocational nurse who said she has worked at the nursing home in the 4300 block of Southcross the past 12 years.

Monroe, who agreed to be identified as long as we did not show her face on television, said she last worked March 27. The outbreak was publicly announced by local officials on March 31.

In the days leading up to her last shift, after the pandemic had reached San Antonio, Monroe said two episodes at the nursing home were concerning to her.

First, she said employees started leaving open the doors to the wing she worked in.

Monroe said that allows patients to be checked on quickly when fewer staff members are working but creates an environment in which the virus can spread easier and faster. She said it runs counter to guidance issued by the CDC for health care workers.

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