KIRKLAND, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee issued new rules Tuesday to protect nursing home residents in Washington from COVID-19. Inslee said the new rules are effective immediately.
All visitors have to be adults and get screened for COVID-19. They have to sign into a log and visit only their loved one's room. Also, staff members will be screened at the start of each shift.
Also on Tuesday, a Life Care Center of Kirkland spokesperson said more than 30 employees were getting tested for coronavirus. Spokesperson Tim Killian said Life Care has been asking government agencies for the last several days to get employee testing done.
Killian mentioned 64 employees were quarantined at home with coronavirus symptoms. He said there is still no word yet when the rest of the staff will get tested, but explains the 30 some tests is a step in the right direction in their continued fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tuesday was another challenging day for families at Life Care. People continued trying to do everything they can to protect their loved ones from coronavirus, including Debbie Delosangeles, whose mother died at Life Care.
“I think in my heart that’s probably what it was, but I just really need to know. And her grandkids need to know,” said Delosangeles.
Delosangeles is numb, still trying to understand what happened to her mom. Twilla Morin was 85 years old and spent the last two years at Life Care being treated for dementia.
“I got a call later Tuesday, about 4:00 in the afternoon stating that she was declining really fast,” said Delosangeles.
Debbie said her mother died early in the morning on March 4, before she could get testing for COVID-19. Now her family is left with so many questions.
“I still don’t have results and yet all these other people have been tested recently and they have results. So, she’s just as important as the rest of them,” said Delosangeles.
Killian said getting test results from government agencies has been complicated. He clarified information he presented in a prior news conference, now saying of all the residents on site who have been tested for coronavirus that 21 are positive, 12 are negative, four are inconclusive and 12 are still pending.
Killian said Life Care is still waiting on post-mortem results. He said they’ve also been asking for support to help staff cope with the outbreak.
“We have not received any outside mental health counseling teams. That’s something we would like to add to our staff in the coming days,” said Killian.
In the coming days, Delosangeles said she wants to know if COVID-19 killed her mother or not, so her family can have closure.
“If it was COVID-19, that’s what I want the death certificate to say. It means a lot to find out,” said Delosangeles.