Ronald Mitchell worried about his mother’s care at a suburban Richmond nursing home long before she was swept up in one of the nation’s deadliest coronavirus outbreaks. She’s bedbound and susceptible to seizures. A sore on her foot went unnoticed for so long, he said, that it led to the amputation of her leg. When he called her last month after she tested positive for COVID-19, she sounded disoriented, and he stayed on the line as she pressed a call button and waited an hour and a half for a nurse who never came. Mitchell then called Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center directly and was told that they were doing the best they could with just two nurses looking after 40 patients at a time in the coronavirus quarantine wing, the AP reports. With the death toll from the Canterbury outbreak rising to 45, Mitchell can only hope that his 62-year-old mother, now on a ventilator in a hospital, won’t be next.
Canterbury, which has surpassed the death toll of 43 in the outbreak at the Life Care Center in suburban Seattle, is the kind of facility that’s particularly vulnerable to a coronavirus wildfire that has raged through the nation’s frail, elderly long-term care populations, claiming more than 4,300 lives. More on the devastating outbreak: