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Raimondo: There are now 12 nursing homes that have COVID-19 cases in RI


PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Gov. Gina Raimondo announced Friday that 12 nursing cross the state homes have at least one COVID-19 case, with two facilities seeing a rapid surge in cases

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, said half of the state’s 14 deaths are associated with the facilities.

Two nursing homes, Goldencrest Nursing Centre in North Providence and Oak Hill Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Pawtucket, have seen a substantial increase in cases over the past week.

A woman who has a family member staying at Oak Hill Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing tells Eyewitness News that the facility isn’t doing enough to protect its residents. She asked to remain anonymous.

The woman said neither she nor her family member are receiving any information from the nursing home about the surge in cases.

“They’re not really telling them anything. They’re just saying, ‘You know, we have to do this because people are sick,'” she said. “So on top of that, she watches a lot of news, so she gets even more scared.”

The woman said her family member has been in the facility since the end of November and is feeling guilty that she can’t leave the facility.

“We can’t bring her home, because she needs that type of care,” the woman said.

She said her family member’s temperature is being checked twice daily, but expressed frustration with the lack of COVID-19 testing.

“It kind of makes you angry, that all of this is happening and that is spread so fast in this particular place,” she said.  

The woman said the staff at Oak Hill should be explaining what’s happening in a way their residents can understand.

“Be empathetic, these people are scared. They’re scared, they’re already away from their family and now they’re completely away from the people who love them,” she said.

Raimondo said the state is continuing to ramp up testing, but it’s been difficult due to the lack of supplies.

“We live in a resource-constrained world where every day is a fight with every other state and, even the federal government, to get the equipment that we need, to do the level of testing we need to do,” Raimondo said.

Raimondo said on a conference call with President Donald Trump ad governors from across the country, they were promised that each state would receive 15 high-throughput rapid diagnostic machines.

“We have yet to see those, and I’m still trying to get my hands on those,” Raimondo said. “Those are the kind of machines, rapid testing, that you could imagine us putting at nursing homes, at hospitals.”

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Oak Hill Center Spokesperson, Jefferey Jacomowitz said, “… the facility is working together with those agencies on any daily updates they may have in order to provide the best and most up-to-date care possible, that includes all testing and monitoring of varies symptoms by the clinical staff.”

guidelines provided by the health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Alexander-Scott noted on Friday confirmed the other two facilities that have a high number of COVID19 cases.

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