Families concerned about COVID-19 outbreak reported at Chesterfield nursing home

Families concerned about COVID-19 outbreak reported at Chesterfield nursing home

CHESTERFIELD Co., Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health said there are more than 50 residents at a Chesterfield community who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The outbreak was reported at Tyler’s Retreat at Iron Bridge.

As of Tuesday evening, VDH says there are currently 55 residents and 26 staff members who are positive.

In a statement to NBC12, Chesterfield Health District director Dr. Alexander Samuel wrote:

“Tyler’s Retreat has been coordinating with the Chesterfield Health district to address an outbreak of COVID 19 in that facility. Current cases include 55 residents and 26 staff. We know of 4 deaths related to this outbreak. The facility has adopted appropriate mitigation and control efforts, including regular testing and isolation and quarantine procedures.”

Loved ones of residents say they are concerned because after learning about the outbreak Friday, they say there was no communication from the facility and they were unable to get in touch with their individual family members.

“We are lacking communication, that is the big issue,” explained Janice Denton. “The only way we can get in contact is through the telephone and we are not having much success with return calls.”

Denton’s 99-year-old sister is among the residents who have tested positive for the virus at Tyler’s Retreat. She says after receiving a notice Friday, she did not hear from her sister again until she drove to the facility to see her through a window on Tuesday.

“I was up there yesterday, I know they are taking precautions, but they need to communicate with us, loved ones, who are waiting by the phone,” she explained.

Denton says her sister looks weak, but she is confident she will be able to overcome the virus.

“This is a real virus,” she said. “But if anyone can beat it, she can.”

She was brought to tears when she could finally see her sister’s face and know she was safe.

“I am hoping if it means hiring an extra person on staff to stay in touch with families, they can do that,” Denton explained.

Candice Fens is concerned about a loved one who is receiving radiation currently.

“When you only have the phone it makes it difficult, I called the police on Sunday and they went out there,” she said.

The Chesterfield County Police Department confirms they did go to the facility Sunday afternoon for a welfare check.

“People were at the facility begging to see their loved ones, all windows were closed, we couldn’t see anybody," Fens said.

After attempting to call throughout the weekend with no return call, Fens says her loved one’s doctor at the hospital where she is undergoing radiation, called to report she had not attended treatment.

“They couldn’t get through as a physician, to find out where their patient was,” she explained. “That’s when we knew she wasn’t going to her treatment.”

Fens eventually spoke with her loved one Monday and learned she is not among those who have tested positive for the virus.

"It is a simple, ‘she is doing fine, we are busy,' something could have been said,’ she explained. “We hope they can have adequate staff so they are not overloaded. You don’t want the people taking care of your loved one to be sick too.”

In a statement to NBC12, Tyler’s Retreat at Ironbridge Director Victor Pope wrote:

“The facility acts in the best interest of its residents to promote their health, safety, and welfare. We continue to work closely with the Department of Health and follow all local, state and federal reporting guidelines and regulations. We have routinely updated all residents and responsible parties regarding their condition and care. Due to HIPAA regulations, we cannot comment on any personal health information.”

Tyler’s Retreat at Ironbridge is among 6 long term care facilities in Chesterfield reporting outbreaks. Click here for a complete list.

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