Coronavirus outbreak at Fairfield assisted living facility; employee says proper protocols not followed
FAIRFIELD, Calif. - An assisted living facility in Fairfield is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, amid criticism from some staff and families.
Parkrose Gardens is a 102-bed facility that specializes in memory care: dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
"I would like to figure out a way to talk to my mom," said the daughter of one resident, who is among 31 to test positive for coronavirus," she said.
The daughter preferred to stay anonymous, to protect her mother, 69, diagnosed with dementia while in her mid-50's.
"I've been told she is okay and doesn't show symptoms, but I want to see that for myself, I want to talk to her, it worries me," she said.
She is also concerned that many employees she has come to know over two years are gone.
"I know they're completely understaffed right now, a lot of people left, probably scared, I wouldn't want to work somewhere that everyone has COVID.
Outside the facility Monday, employees declined to describe conditions inside.
"I don't want to lose my job," shrugged one.
Off-camera, one health care worker at Parkrose told KTVU that proper protocols were not followed, leading to the outbreak.
"I haven't hugged my dad since March," admitted one woman, arriving to retrieve her elder father's belongings after his death at Parkrose.
He had been in 2-week quarantine after testing positive, but she believes his death was from other causes.
"As far as I know my dad did not die of the virus, he died because he was 94 years old with dementia and was ready to go, and died in his sleep, peacefully."
Parkrose Gardens is owned by Meridian Senior Living, which owns 11 congregate living facilities in California and dozens more across the country.
In a statement, it responded, in part: "We are continuing to monitor and adjust out precautions...we will continue to implement the stringent infection control policies and practices."
But communication remains a sore spot.
"I'm used to talking to my mom every other day," said the daughter, who feels certain her mother is distressed and confused at her isolation and change in routine.
"She doesn't understand what's going on, she doesn't even understand there's a coronavirus going on."
Her mom has an iPad but the last time they were able to speak on Facetime was prior to her positive test.
"They say not they can't give her the iPad because of risking contamination, or the Wi-Fi doesn't reach to her room, so there are all these obstacles."
She hopes for direct contact and more details about the scope of the outbreak.
"I'm not blaming anyone, I just want some answers."