COVID-19 claims more than 20 lives at two Livonia nursing homes

Posted at 11:19 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 23:19:38-04

LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — Nursing facilities in Wayne County are under siege as the coronavirus takes aim at their vulnerable populations.

Regency at Livonia reportedly has 26 positive COVID-19 cases. Of those, 15 residents have died. SKLD Livonia, another senior living home, reportedly has 20 cases and 6 of those cases have resulted in death.

The family of Shirley Stevenson, 62, said they were notified on March 23rd that their mother was taken to a hospital. She was a resident of Regency at Livonia.

"I got a call from a nurse," said her son Glenn Bradford. "[She said] she's only going for observation, she's fine and that was it. Something didn't seem right."

Bradford said he received a call from a doctor on March 30th with devastating news that she had died.

"The doctor called me and I just knew the way he sounded," said Bradford. "I just dropped the phone and broke down."

Lorraine Smith's family believes she was also a victim of the coronavirus. She moved into Regency at Livonia on March 20th, her 80th birthday. On April 9th, her family says she died.

In Wayne County excluding the city of Detroit, there have been 94 COVID-19 related deaths of nursing home residents.

Regency at Livonia released a statement:

We are aware that since the emergence of COVID-19 in the Metro Detroit area, including the Livonia community, we have discharged residents with and without COVID-19-like symptoms to local area hospitals for treatment. Based on information received from County health officials, it is being reported that numbers of former residents have later tested COVID-19 positive, as well as passed away from COVID-19. We do not always have first-hand knowledge of the status of discharged residents, but have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the information from the county health department.

All of our staff offer their deepest condolences and thoughts to the families and loved ones of residents who have passed away from COVID-19 related illnesses. Our staff has worked tirelessly to care for and protect the residents of Regency at Livonia, and continue to do so.

Positive COVID-19 cases are occurring in metro Detroit nursing facilities with more frequency and increasing numbers despite all the precautions and guidance nursing home staff follow. Michigan has the third highest rate of infection in the country, and Wayne County is clearly the epicenter of that designation.

To respond to this reality, we have been working towards, and now have the ability to treat a limited amount of existing and/or admitted positive COVID-19 patients in an isolated, contained unit consistent with guidelines and directives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We are also working and coordinating closely with the Wayne County Health Department to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our residents and our staff.

Resident safety is a top priority at our facility. Our staff is monitoring changing conditions, including the presence of elevated temperatures and respiratory illness in our facility, daily on each shift. Staff are being screened prior and after each shift and we are requiring staff to stay home if they are sick or display symptoms of the virus. Facility leadership is also participating in regular calls with our governmental and healthcare partners to receive and implement the latest updates and current information related to this issue.

We continue to follow essential visitor and staff screening and monitoring prior to entering our facility, and visitor restriction direction from CMS and the CDC.

We thank our residents, staff and families for their support. Regency at Livonia is committed to provide high quality care and support to our resident and their families.

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