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Long-term care resident frustrated facility hasn't shared information about seven coronavirus deaths

Posted at 9:00 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 23:58:11-04

MILWAUKEE — There have been seven coronavirus deaths at one long-term care facility on Milwaukee's northwest side, according to medical examiner reports.

A BRIA of Trinity Village resident said Thursday that she had no idea any of her fellow residents have died from coronavirus until TMJ4 News brought it to her attention. She believes residents have the right to know.

People who live in long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 complications, but at BRIA of Trinity Village, there's an alarming trend. Seven residents have died from the virus, and medical examiner reports show six of them died within the past week and a half.

"Fear, inadequacy," said resident Catherine Crockett. "Something's going on and a little bit of anger that we don't know about it."

Crockett lives at BRIA of Trinity Village's independent living center. She can't believe staff or management hasn't informed residents of the outbreak.

BRIA Health Services CEO Daniel Weiss provided TMJ4 News with a statement that reads in part, "The BRIA family mourns the loss of those taken by COVID-19…. We are doing everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 within our facility, strictly adhering to all guidance from the CDC…"

Medical examiner reports show 44 residents of long-term care facilities across Milwaukee County have died from COVID-19 complications. That's 30% of the total 144 coronavirus deaths county-wide as of April 23.

"We're very concerned," said Greenfield Health Department Director Darren Rausch.

Rausch is on Milwaukee County's coronavirus response team. He said the county has sent out several recommendations to long-term care facilities to stop the spread.

"Those aggressive measures very early on, for many of us several weeks ago, limited the number of cases, but it certainly isn't going to take care of all of them as we can see," Rausch said Thursday.

Since Crockett is in independent living, she has fewer restrictions than those in assisted living, allowing her to still go outside for fresh air.

"Everybody I see now has a mask, but for a long time, we were without masks," she said.

Crockett said she now plans to demand answers about cases and deaths at her facility.

"Perhaps they don't want to scare the residents, but I think truth should prevail regardless," she said.

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