Family members want answers from state leaders as nursing home coronavirus cases increase

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – More residents have been tested and confirmed positive for COVID-19 at Grace Living Center in Norman after nine total positive cases with two deaths struck the facility as of last week.

Officials with the living center did not confirm how many tests were administered or how many positive cases are now in the home.

This statement was released from the living center Monday afternoon regarding the testing:

“Over the weekend, the facility medical director utilized IMMY lab in Norman to facilitate additional testing of patients who were already in isolation and presumed positive for the virus.  As a result of those tests, a number of the presumptive cases were confirmed to be positive. The facility wishes to emphasize that all persons tested were already being treated as positive with all precautionary actions followed.  However, confirmation of a positive status was necessary to allow the medical director to potentially undertake a new treatment. Specifically, the treatment calls for the administration of hydroxychloroquin to patients impacted if their conditions warrant. Although previously an off-label use of the drug, it has been in use for an extended period of time in other contexts and published reports now indicate that approval for this treatment has been authorized by the FDA.  Families of any residents impacted have already been notified and further testing will continue if it is determined necessary on behalf of other residents impacted. As it has been throughout this process, the goal of the facility remains to work aggressively to protect its residents and team members as they fight this ongoing pandemic.  We greatly appreciate the support and prayers we have received from the community and continue to ask for their thoughts and prayers.  We would also like to thank IMMY labs for their assistance in providing critical testing.  Finally, we want to again say thank you to our staff, who are working tirelessly on the front line every day to care for the most vulnerable among us.”

The building has 136 beds, one of the belonging to Gary Webb’s 83-year-old mother. Webb said he was told Monday she is one of the residents that tested positive.

“Not being able to see how she’s treated, not being able to get in, not being able to see her, you know, it’s rough,” Webb said. “I haven’t been able to go see my mom for over a month now.”

Webb’s mother is still in isolation inside of the nursing home being treated.

According to Webb, she started to show symptoms about four days ago but wasn’t able to get tested then.

“The lady said ‘no, we’ve requested tests, but we haven’t been able to get them, we keep getting denied by the health department,’” Webb said.

On top of that, Webb claims he was told the workers within the facility are not getting tested.

“So, they could be infecting hundreds of people,” Webb said.

However, it’s not the nursing home that Webb said he has a problem with.

“She gets good service there and she even tells me on the phone that these people are treating her very well,” Webb said.

Instead, he named some state leaders he’s reached out to about testing. James Lankford and Emily Virgin being two of them.

“No response,” he said.

Webb said he has questions and wants them answered.

“Why are all these other people getting tests when we’ve got vulnerable people in nursing homes,” Webb said. “Our government is failing us guys; we’ve got to do something here.”

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