SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Families of Kirkland nursing home residents in quarantine after coronavirus outbreak demand more answers

A group of family members of residents at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, want more answers on the conditions of their loved ones, including resident...

Posted: Mar 6, 2020 3:47 AM
Updated: Mar 6, 2020 11:30 AM

A group of family members of residents at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, want more answers on the conditions of their loved ones, including residents who they claim have died without being tested for the coronavirus.

Seven residents at the Life Care Center have died as a result of coronavirus, according to the King County Health Department, but at least two more residents died recently without knowing whether the virus is responsible, according to the family members at a press conference held outside the nursing home Thursday.

Pat Herrick -- who first expressed concerns to CNN Tuesday about the situation at the nursing home -- says her mother, Elaine, died early Thursday morning after living at Life Care Center for seven years.

Herrick emphasizes the care her mother received from the nursing home workers has been excellent.

'They're also feeling beaten down, I'm sure,' she said. But Herrick feels the staff does not have enough resources to deal with the outbreak, especially after she says a Life Care worker called her mid-morning Thursday to say her mother's condition was stable.

'That's bull----,' Herrick recounts saying to the worker over the phone. 'My mother died at 3:30 this morning.'

She says the person on the phone was shocked to hear it, and later admitted she had not read the full chart.

Elaine Herrick was never tested for coronavirus, according to her daughter, and Pat Herrick says she is now pushing the nursing home and local health officials to have her mother's remains tested to determine if coronavirus is responsible. For now, Elaine Herrick is listed as dying of natural causes, according to her daughter, Pat.

Across the country, at least 250 cases of coronavirus have been reported as of Friday afternoon. At least 13 deaths have been reported in Washington state alone.

Mike Weatherill told reporters his mother, Louise, died Wednesday morning shortly after being tested for coronavirus, but they still do not have the results back. 'Everybody just moved too slow to recognize this virus,' Weatherill said.

Kevin Connolly, who says his father-in-law is at Life Care, disputes whether the residents are being quarantined to the degree officials are saying. 'My father-in-law was invited to walk outdoors if he wanted,' Connolly said. 'This is not quarantine.'

Others are also worried about their loved ones who are still at the center.

Bonnie Holstad told reporters Thursday that she wants to get her husband, a patient with Parkinson's disease and dementia, moved to another facility.

He has had a cough, but he hasn't tested positive for coronavirus, she said. Yet other facilities won't take him because of the well-publicized coronavirus cases at Life Care, she said.

'This environment has not been healthy for many, and I am fearful every single day that he may develop more symptoms ... in this, I'm calling it, a Petri dish,' Holstad said.

Life Care Centers of America issues a statement

'Our clinical team is making personal, one-on-one telephone calls with family members to share information about loved ones and respond to questions,' Life Care Centers of America President Beecher Hunter said in a statement Thursday. 'Communication is vital in the caregiving process and for keeping families abreast of developments in dealing with the coronavirus.'

'We grieve with the families who have lost loved ones; people who were important members of our professional family,' the statement said.

Life Care Centers of America has not responded to a request from CNN for responses to the specific concerns raised in the families' press conference.

The families' press conference took place shortly before Vice President Mike Pence -- the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force -- arrived in Washington state to meet with local health care leaders and Gov. Jay Inslee, and make a statement to the press.

Connolly says he wishes the vice president would also talk to the Life Care Center families. 'They made time to speak with all of you [reporters],' Connolly stated. 'Where is the time for the families?'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 176157

Reported Deaths: 2461
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35145568
Washington23569229
Marion20282299
Clackamas15499204
Lane11722144
Jackson9984127
Umatilla798483
Deschutes721472
Linn418763
Yamhill412575
Klamath353759
Polk346452
Malheur343058
Josephine307862
Douglas305765
Benton275418
Jefferson207432
Coos198431
Columbia155426
Union141824
Lincoln130520
Wasco130228
Hood River113029
Morrow108115
Clatsop9008
Crook89119
Baker86114
Curry5999
Tillamook5833
Grant4204
Lake4147
Harney3136
Wallowa1575
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3723446

Reported Deaths: 61122
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122964123668
Riverside2976204547
San Bernardino2949734561
San Diego2753683674
Orange2691764900
Santa Clara1173172017
Kern1080131331
Sacramento1016651647
Fresno1007021646
Alameda855831477
Ventura803321002
San Joaquin717351334
Contra Costa67157782
Stanislaus605831032
Tulare49443831
Monterey43301364
San Mateo41226560
San Francisco36094529
Santa Barbara33926446
Solano32047239
Merced31289453
Sonoma29720311
Imperial27995719
Kings22781245
Placer21908283
San Luis Obispo20991257
Madera16289240
Santa Cruz15666204
Marin13868226
Yolo13572200
Shasta11747219
Butte11601196
El Dorado9797109
Napa971579
Sutter9299109
Yuba612744
San Benito598963
Lassen567924
Tehama544556
Nevada448975
Tuolumne408664
Mendocino399347
Humboldt363138
Amador362946
Lake341643
Glenn235825
Colusa220416
Calaveras206252
Siskiyou196521
Inyo141838
Del Norte12907
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4287
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned440
Medford
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 42°
Brookings
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 58°
Medford
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 42°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 42°
Klamath Falls
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 33°
Sunny, warm, and breezy Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events