A threatening letter discovered at a highly scrutinized nursing home in Littleton, Massachusetts, amid the novel coronavirus outbreak is being investigated, police said Saturday.
The letter included violent threats regarding the recent coronavirus-related deaths at Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley, according to a statement from police Chief Matthew J. Pinard. According to the company, 14 residents and one nurse who worked there have died.
The threatening letter written on a brown paper bag was reported to Littleton police around 8 a.m. Wednesday, about an hour-and-a-half after staff found it near the entrance, Pinard said.
A company spokesman sent NBC10 Boston a partially blurred image of the handwritten letter, which was addressed in purple ink to "murderers" and said, "We hope you die."
The spokesman said the company has received other threats and shared a list of angry emails.
"It's affected the morale of the nursing staff," Tim Killian, public information liaison for Life Care Centers of America, said in a phone call.
The Littleton Police Department will patrol the facility during the investigation of the threatening letter. Pinard asked anyone with information on the incident to contact the department at 978-952-2300.
Life Care Center has been under scrutiny for weeks. A regional health director told the Massachusetts Department of Public Health around the beginning of April that the facility hadn't been cooperative or forthcoming with information. The company said at the time that its staff is well-trained and following all guidelines to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
But last week, several days after the facility announced that 10 residents had died, a nurse at the facility died of coronavirus-related complications.
Maria Krier had voiced concerns over the nursing home's handling of the virus prior to her death. The threatening letter said it was written on her behalf.
Calling her a hero, U.S. Congresswoman Lori Trahan said in a statement she “showed tremendous courage when she blew the whistle on the outbreak at Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley. Her urgent concern for her fellow nurses and the residents at the facility is a testament to her character and the values that she held.”
Sen. Jamie Elridge has asked the attorney general to investigate the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley.
However, the company feels that the media and public officials are taking a negative approach to nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Killian, the spokesman.
“This happened to us, this did not happen because of us,” he said.
As of two weeks ago, 67 of the nursing home's residents tested positive for the new coronavirus, but all their symptoms have resolved, according to Killian. No other residents have tested positive, though the company has not conducted follow-up testing.
Nursing homes across the state have been hit hard by the new coronavirus. Two-hundred and fifty long-term care facilities across Massachusetts have reported at least one case of the virus. Just over half of the 1,560 people dead with the virus in the state were living at long-term care facilities.