Family members concerned as loved ones in nursing home test positive for COVID-19


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Kim Lema drove by Orchard View Manor on Sunday to wave to her father. She told Eyewitness News the 73-year-old tested positive for COVID-19.

“My dad is paralyzed, he does not get out of bed, so it was brought to him in his room. I’m frustrated. I want to put the PPE on and go in there and tell him goodbye. I can’t just sit in the house and not drive by and just say my goodbyes from the outside.”

Sue received similar news from the same nursing home; her husband of twenty years, Roger, tested positive for COVID-19.

The 77-year-old is in hospice after a number of health problems. Roger was admitted into Orchard View Manor on February 27. Sue said she would visit everyday, but had to stop after the governor’s no visitation order. She hasn’t seen her husband since March 10.

“Obviously my heart is wrenched that my husband is positive because he has a lot of underlying health problems. I can’t imagine having dementia and not knowing what’s going on. The last few days have not been good. I tried to talk with him on the phone yesterday and he was so lethargic he couldn’t even hold the phone up.”

Sue said the nursing home did not immediately call her when Roger tested positive. According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, at least five residents have died related to the coronavirus.

“Will I get to say goodbye to him? I don’t know. I don’t know if I will be able to say goodbye to him but I just want him to know that I love him from the bottom of my heart and I pray for him everyday.”

Sue commends the tough jobs of the front-line workers and nursing home staff, but says more needs to be done.

“I don’t think there is enough staff there. This is my cry for help.”

Eyewitness News reached out to Orchard View Manor and the Rhode Island Department of Health for an updated number of cases, but have not heard back.

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