Several positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, have been confirmed at a nursing home in Worcester as the facility was moving its residents out to make way for Massachusetts' first coronavirus care center.
The Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, owned by Salmon Health, was in the process of moving out all 147 of its residents to focus on coronavirus patients.
"If they left Beaumont alone like they should have from the very beginning, this big, whole disastrous mess wouldn't be happening," said Lynda DiGioia of Worcester.
DiGioia's 90-year-old mother, Gloria Giaquinto, was supposed to be moved Tuesday, but her move was put on hold after other residents on her floor began testing positive.
The son of another resident who moved out over the weekend says he hasn't been contacted and doesn't know if his mother has been tested.
"Nobody has been allowed in that building the last three weeks except employees, so I thought that they were checking employees for the virus," the man said. "Well, apparently, somebody's dropping the ball over there at Beaumont."
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker asserted Wednesday afternoon that Beaumont followed appropriate protocol with the COVID-positive residents.
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"The reason we knew they were positive was because everybody who was going to be transferred was tested," Baker said.
As Salmon Health says the facility is still prepared to open as planned as a COVID-19 care center on Monday, DiGioia says the current residents need answers first.
"All I want are some answers," DiGioia said. "My poor mother. So she's 90 years old, what if she gets this? Is she going to die and I'm not even going to be able to go see her?"
DiGioia says now she's just awaiting test results for her mother. If she tests positive, Beaumont has told her they would quarantine her there for seven to 10 days before moving her to another facility.