Families protest Downriver nursing home after 20 residents die of COVID-19

RIVERVIEW, Mich. – A protest was held Wednesday outside Rivergate Terrace Nursing Home in Riverview after 20 residents died from coronavirus.

The state is investigation how the nursing home handled the outbreak.

“I’ve seen too many body bags come out of here," said William Woods. "Too many.”

Woods and his family protested outside the home after their 77-year-old mother died Sunday from respiratory failure.

The family was allowed inside to say goodbye and they said the conditions they saw inside is why they are protesting.

“It is bad," Woods said. "It’s sad. They are not cleaning or doing anything in there.”

Officials with Rivergate Terrace Nursing Home said two weeks ago that seven residents died of COVID-19. That number is now at 20.

Four more died at Rivergate Health, next door and 72 staff members have tested positive for coronavirus. Families said both facilities are too short staffed to care for 300 residents.

“I want the nurses to get the help they need," said Trudy Martin. “Help these people men and women risking lives.”

Residents are now being tested as Rivergate received 50 tests Wednesday. Staff are told to get a free drive-through test at a nearby Sam’s Club.

“They are doing the best they can in there, but they are dropping like flies,” Martin said.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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