Coronavirus death toll at neighboring care facilities in Metro Detroit may be worst in US

'I lost a very precious person,'

Kathy McGuire lost her 87-year-old mother, Sara, to coronavirus (COVID-19).

RIVERVIEW, Mich. – Kathy McGuire lost her 87-year-old mother, Sara, to coronavirus (COVID-19).

“It is as if they turned their head away from it. They didn’t care,” McGuire said. “I lost a very precious person in my life not only myself, my family, grandchildren -- she had a good quality of life to go.”

READ: ‘My heart is broken’ -- Downriver nursing home under investigation after COVID-19 deaths

She is furious at Michigan Gov. Gretchen for ordering COVID-19-positive residents back into nursing homes.

On June 15, Whitmer ordered that all nursing home staff and residents be tested for coronavirus.

McGuire’s mother was a resident in Rivergate Terrace in April when she got sick. In March and April, Rivergate insiders and families told Local 4 that COVID-19 was spreading like wildfire.

READ: ‘It’s not safe there’ -- COVID-19 outbreak reported at Downriver nursing home

Rivergate’s parent company, Life Care Centers of American, confirmed the following:

  • 35 residents of Rivergate Terrace died of coronavirus
  • 20 residents of sister facilities next door, Rivergate Health, also died of coronavirus

McGuire said she has questions for Whitmer.

“I would ask her why would you not come forth to protect our senior citizens, loved ones in nursing homes, who were the most vulnerable?” McGuire said.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.