‘Extremely upsetting’: Family shocked to hear 7 residents at Metro Detroit nursing home have died from COVID-19

Rivergate Terrace becomes hot spot for illness

Metro Detroit nursing homes have been badly impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

RIVERVIEW, Mich. – Metro Detroit nursing homes have been badly impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

At Regency Nursing Home in Livonia, 15 people have died, while six people at SKLD, also in Livonia, have died.

It was also recently reported that seven people at Rivergate Terrace Nursing Home in Riverview have died from COVID-19.

RELATED: Riverview nursing home management accused of downplaying coronavirus outbreak that killed 7

Adilita Raya’s mother has been at Rivergate for years, and Raya felt assured by the staff that everything was under control at the nursing home, even after the COVID-19 outbreak began.

However, things quickly changed.

Two days ago, Raya was told that her mother, Kay Cudnick, had a fever and cough. She was moved to an isolated room. On Friday, Raya heard the news that seven residents had died from the virus.

“Extremely upsetting,” Raya said. “The whole family was disturbed, and we’re trying to call my mother and of course she’s not answering.”

Raya said phone calls went unanswered for an hour before she reached the person in charge.

“They need to not just get the residents tested but workers tested because who knows who’s walking around with it. Who knows who’s laying in bed with it?” she said.

Raya called the governor’s office and the state’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), before an employee finally put her in touch with her mother.

“So, I got to talk to her, but she’s very confused. She doesn’t like being in this room by herself,” Raya said. “We haven’t seen her in like a month at all. She’s feeling like she’s been abandoned.”

Raya said her family feels helpless.

LARA investigators visited the nursing home Friday to assure the welfare, safety and health of the residents and staff.

It is unknown whether testing will be conducted at Rivergate. Some cities may begin copying Detroit’s plan, which is to start testing 160 residents per day, with the results coming back almost immediately.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.