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'You Suffer Alone And I Don't Want That For My Mom': More Than Half Pa.'s Coronavirus-Related Deaths Are In Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care Facilities

PITTSBURGH, PA. (KDKA) - In the state, over half the total COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Family members are continuing to ask questions on what the facilities and the state are doing to help their loved ones.

"I just worry everyday. I just prayed, 'please Mary watch over my mom,'" said Pamela Kalka.

Kalka's mother lives at Sunnyview in Butler. The facility officials tell KDKA's Nicole Ford on Tuesday, a resident with a fever was taken to the hospital after being tested for the virus. The facility's test came back negative, but the hospital's was confirmed positive.

Since then, another resident was taken to the hospital and is awaiting test results. Now Kalka is concerned about her mother inside the facility.

"She's lived through polio. She's a tough cookie, but I mean she's 88-years-old," Kalka said.

In other counties, the numbers are much higher.

The state reports 380 confirmed cases and 71 deaths at 34 facilities in Allegheny County.

Next door, in Westmoreland County, there are 141 cases and 22 deaths in eight facilities.

Beaver County has 278 cases and 58 deaths in just three facilities. All 58 of those deaths coming from Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center.

"Certainly the situation at the Brighton nursing home has been extremely challenging and we are doing absolutely everything we can to help that home. We actually have installed a temporary manager to help the facility," said Pennsylvania Secretary Of State Dr. Rachel Levine.


Kalka doesn't want to wait for the death tolls to climb at her mother's facility. She hopes that these shocking statistics make all nursing homes a priority going forward.

"You know I don't want her to get it, because the end outcome is you die alone, you suffer alone and I don't want that for my mom," Kalka said.

Another person with family at Sunnyview said he was concerned the staff was not wearing gowns until a case was confirmed. The facility officials said per CDC guidelines gowns were not required until there is a positive case.

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