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Family member of nursing facility COVID-19 patient raises concerns with handling of outbreak

Posted at 10:25 PM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 09:20:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The sister of a nursing home resident who contracted COVID-19 during an outbreak in the facility that killed one person is sharing her concerns over how the facility allegedly handled the outbreak.

The woman indicated that Pine Creek Rehab and Nursing in Salt Lake City didn't let her family members know their loved one had the virus.

Farida Fox explained that it wasn't until she saw it on the news Tuesday, that she realized her sister may be in danger.

She saw a report of cases of COVID-19 at Pine Creek Rehab and Nursing.

Fox said she called and talked to a nurse, who assured her that the news reports weren't correct.

"She said, 'Well, the person that went to the hospital-- one of the patients-- contracted the virus at the hospital," Fox recounted. She also said the nurse told her an employee who tested positive for COVID-19 wasn't at the facility anymore.

The next day, Fox said she was able to FaceTime with her sister, and everything seemed okay.

Fox's 64-year old sister has dementia, and Fox said her sister as lived at Pine Creek for more than a decade.

Fast forward to Saturday, when Fox said she again saw Pine Creek in the news-- this time, for a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

Six residents and two employees tested positive for COVID-19, and one resident died.

Fox again called the nursing home.

"I said, 'The six patients on the news? Is that, one of them my sister?'" Fox asked. "Then she confirmed it was my sister."

Fox said Pine Creek did not call her brother, who is listed as the primary contact, after their sister tested positive for COVID-19.

This concerned Fox, because she said her sister doesn't speak English.

"If she's hurting or anything, she would not know how to communicate that to them," Fox explained.

On Sunday, she said she FaceTimed with her sister again, through a Pine Creek nurse.

She wanted to make sure her sister was still receiving her medications. She described how the nursing staff told her they were on high alert, and taking temperatures every four hours.

Fox said her sister seemed to be doing okay, despite being infected with COVID-19.

"I asked her if she had aches and pains, and she was in good spirits and was very happy to see my face," Fox said.

This helped her feel better about her sister's health, but Fox still has questions about how Pine Creek handled the outbreak, and how her sister contracted COVID-19.

"I just worry about the other people that are there as well, the safety of the staff and the residents," Fox said. "I hope this all comes out where we don't lose any casualties from this. I just want clear communication from now moving forward."

Fox 13 reached out to Pine Creek through phone and email. A staff member said someone would be calling back, but as of Sunday night there has been no response.

Pine Creek Rehab and Nursing said in a Facebook post Saturday evening that a statement they released Saturday afternoon would complete their comments on the current situation.

You can read the statement here.