Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Life Care Nursing Home’s First Coronavirus Deaths Happened Before Quarantines

Published on Mar 4, 2020 at 5:28 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Two residents from the Life Care nursing care center in Kirkland, Washington died of coronavirus days before officials identified the emerging crisis. Now, it’s believed the virus has been circulating inside the facility for even longer than previously believed and well before residents were quarantined to their rooms. At this time, nowhere else in the country has been hit as hard by the coronavirus as Kirkland.

According to the New York Times, as of March 3, 2020, seven residents have been confirmed dead from the virus. It’s estimated that seven others with a connection to the home have fallen ill because of it. North Carolina officials reported a resident of the state testing positive for the virus after traveling to the Life Care center and returning home.

There is talk that the virus has been circulating inside the facility for some time without proper precautions being taken to avoid residents getting infected. In addition to the threat to residents, there’s the potential that visitors and workers could contract the virus and spread it outside of Life Care. In fact, a quarter of Kirkland’s firefighters and a few police officers were asked to isolate themselves after they visited the nursing home. Of those individuals, approximately 12 were experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Families of the nursing facility residents are growing increasingly anxious about the health and wellbeing of their loved ones. Kevin Connolly, whose 81-year-old-father-in-law resides at Life Care, said approximately 65 families have been in touch with the facility after they received a generic update. Because email addresses were left visible, families began sharing stories on the thread. According to Jodi Connolly, whose father is in the facility, “They are prisoners with no information in there.” Officials from the facility claim to be following federal protocol to handle the chaotic situation.

Debbie Delosangeles, whose mother is in the facility, was interviewed by the New York Times. According to her, she was told her 85-year-old mother was symptom-free on Monday, March 2; however, on March 3 she learned her mother’s health had started to decline. Workers told Delosangeles they were treating her mother for a high fever but did not intend to test her for the coronavirus unless she developed breathing problems. Another family member of a 77-year-old resident was told her mother had been sick for nearly a week and was experiencing breathing problems; however, the facility had not tested for coronavirus.

According to Dr. Manisha Juthani, an associate professor at Yale School of Medicine who studies infectious disease in older populations, it’s not surprising that the virus reached a nursing home and caused multiple deaths. Juthani would not be surprised if the coronavirus infiltrated other long-term care facilities.

Across Washington state, nine people have died from the coronavirus. Worldwide, the virus has killed more than 3,000. According to state officials, several more people have fallen ill—including two people in their 20s who have been hospitalized in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah. Business, schools, and churches have altered their practices to better protect people from contracting the virus. Local Amazon employees were emailed that a worker from one of the office buildings in Seattle’s Lake Union neighborhood had tested positive for the virus. A local baseball league told parents players would be discouraged from giving high-fives and handshakes. And the Archdiocese of Seattle has indefinitely postponed an annual Mass and dance that would have been held on March 7.

Washington state officials are attempting to stop the spread of the virus. Currently, health officials have asked the State Legislature for an additional $100 million in funding to respond more appropriately to the virus. There’s also talk of potentially limiting public gatherings, like high school basketball games and conventions. At this time, it’s unknown if the situation at Life Care Nursing Home could or should have been handled differently.


Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

CDC Warns of Drug-Resistant Fungal Infection in Hospitals

If the height of the pandemic a few years ago used to make you fear heading to the hospital when in need of urgent medical aid, then the latest reports, like this article published by CBS News, regarding a drug-resistant fungal infection caused by Candida auris plaguing hospitals and nursing homes are unlikely to help […]

Read More

Injured Missourians May Be Eligible for Compensation From Missouri Victims’ Fund

There is good news for victims of negligence who have been unable to obtain the financial award they deserve—injured Missourians may be eligible for compensation from the Missouri Tort Victims’ Compensation Fund. Our team of personal injury attorneys at Thomas Law Offices is currently helping clients obtain compensation through this vital, yet often overlooked, state-funded […]

Read More

What Is Breach of Duty?

In almost every facet of our daily lives, we encounter situations in which one individual owes a duty of care to another. When someone violates their duty of care, it is considered a breach. This breach does not always cause harm, but when it does, the victim may deal with extensive injuries, costly medical bills, […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion