San Antonio – Families whose loved ones died at a Southeast Side nursing home following a COVID-19 outbreak said their emotions and grief are running high after not being able to get straight answers about how their loved one died or were cared for at the facility.
San Antonio Metropolitan Health District officials confirmed Tuesday that five additional deaths were reported at Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center after a COVID-19 outbreak, bringing the total number of deaths there to eight.
Previously, only three deaths COVID-19-related deaths were reported to the city’s health agency. Those deaths were reported by the hospitals where the residents died.
Ronnie Brigham said he got confirmation on Tuesday that his mother Angeline Brigham, 79, died Monday from what is believed to be COVID-19.
“She was fine until she got sick, and she got sick for four days. That’s how long she was sick and she dies,” he said. Brigham said he was not able to visit his mother during that time.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the city is taking measures to ensure the facility is cooperating moving forward, but as far as shutting it down, it’s hands are tied.
“If it remains state-licensed they can operate. So the state would have to pull its license in order for it to be shutdown,” Nirenberg said.
A state investigation is underway. Officials still don’t know how the virus spread in the nursing home.
KSAT 12 News has reached out to the nursing home and it’s parent company, Advanced Healthcare Solutions, for comment, but we have not heard back from either of them.
Meanwhile, dozens of other patients who tested positive for the virus remain at the facility as well as patients who tested negative, but they are being housed separately.
Bexar Judge Nelson Wolff urged any families who have the means to take their loved ones who tested negative for the virus home should try to do so.
City officials said 10 other facilities that share staff with Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have been visited by health officials to check for contamination, but the facilities were cleared. Officials said other nursing homes with zero to one-star ratings by the federal government have also been checked, but no cases have been reported.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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