’I need to get my mother out of there before she gets it’: Daughter discharges patient from rehab center to escape COVID-19 outbreak

Families concerned about COVID-19 at Henrico care facility

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The call Lisa Hix got from her mother just over a week ago was all the warning she needed to discharge her from the Canterbury Rehab center in Henrico.

“My mother told me on the phone one night, ‘Lisa, something is going on, they’re wearing masks,’ I said what’s going on? And she said, 'I asked and they aren’t telling me anything,” Hix-Bowling said. “What’s going through my mind is I need to get my mother out of there before she gets it.”

After hearing about the growing number of positive cases at Canterbury, Hix-Bowling says she arrived at the health care facility on March 23 to discharge her. Her mother has been at the health center since December after getting injured in a car accident in October.

“I was not allowed in the building, but they brought her out with her belonging and a mask and we came home,” Hix-Bowling said. “She was on the wing where it started in.”

It wasn’t until after the Henrico Department of Health announced Thursday that the number of positive cases at the facility has ballooned to 92 cases and 16 deaths, that Hix-Bowling became concerned whether her mother had contracted the disease.

“She’s not showing any signs of the virus which means, I didn’t know it at the time, that she could test positive and just be a carrier.”

Following Wednesday’s announcement by the health department, Hix-Bowling says she called the administrator of the facility to see if her mother could be included in the test, but she says they refused to test her.

“They informed me that they could not test her because they had been discharged and I explained to the administrator under the current circumstances of what was going on in Canterbury that it only be fair if my mother was tested," Hix-Bowling said. “And I told them if they couldn’t I would find someone who could.”

Hix-Bowling says the Canterbury administrator contacted the Henrico Health Department which agreed to test her mother Friday for the disease.

The County also announced Thursday during a press conference that they would be visiting the 40+ Nursing Homes and Rehabilitation facilities in order to get ahead of the virus before it spreads to other congregate care facilities. They also express their frustration at Canterbury initially refusing to cooperate with the Health Department earlier in the outbreak.

“We actually offered to have testing done quicker sooner... had that been done I think we would have had results sooner,” County Manager John Vithoulkas said. “When we call please pick up the phone we are here to help.”

Hix says she has no ill will towards the facility but wishes they informed families sooner about how much the virus has spread. She also says her mother will not be coming back to Canterbury and will instead be living at Hix-Bowling home.

“I think they are trying their best to catch up with this stuff and I hope they continue to progress,” Hix-Bowling said.

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