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Families want more COVID-19 information released by nursing homes

Everyone wants more information.

Families across the region and state are advocating for more information out of nursing homes, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to hit those facilities hardest.

“This is my father. I take that very seriously. I’m an only child,” Sandy Bailey said. Her 79-year-old father is in a nursing home and spoke with 13WHAM. “I was hit by it. I was shocked. There was just so many thoughts that I couldn’t come up with answers until after I hung up the phone. I couldn’t come up with anything and then afterwards, nobody would talk to me.”

Her father tested positive for COVID-19, but aside from that, no information was given.

“The data on tests for nursing home residents come to us from a variety of sources. Much like hospitals, who also regulated by state Department of Health, we will learn about tests ordered by nursing homes usually only after the results are reported in the state lab system,” says Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County health commissioner.

Until recently, the state wasn’t even releasing confirmed Coronavirus deaths by county from nursing home facilities. It’s been partly viewed as a privacy issue, because the residents ‘live’ at the facilities. However, family members now say they’re being kept in the dark, too.