ANDERSON — Gina Bronnenberg declined to have a phone conversation Monday night for fear she might miss a call from Bethany Pointe’s corporate offices.
Her mother is a patient at the Anderson facility, where, state officials say, 11 deaths related to COVID-19 have occurred since March 26.
“All I want is answers, and I can’t seem to get those,” Bronnenberg said in a text message Monday. “I put my mom in Bethany Pointe for rehab to hopefully be able to take her back home. Now I regret my decision. She has been put in harm’s way, and there’s nothing I can do.”
In a televised press conference Monday, Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said one of her fears had been realized — a COVID-19 outbreak in an Indiana nursing facility, similar to those that occurred in Washington state and Maryland.
“We have had a significant outbreak in a nursing home that has taken to date the lives of 11 residents related to COVID-19,” Box said. “This outbreak is occurring at Bethany Pointe facility in Madison County.”
Bronnenberg, who lives in Anderson, said she learned about the deaths from a Facebook post.
“I am very upset that no one contacted me,” she said. “My mother is in the isolation wing (at Bethany Pointe). Last I knew, she had not been tested. Last communication I had from administrative staff was last Wednesday.”
Bronnenberg said it took four hours Sunday to get the opportunity to talk with her mother’s nurse. Bronnenberg said she received only limited information.
“They should have told me that she was tested, but I really wonder if she was — it’s been one confusing mess since March,” Bronnenberg said.
Requests for comment from Bethany Pointe were directed Monday to Michelle Schaefer, spokesperson for Trilogy Health Services. Attempts to reach Shaefer were unsuccessful.
Bronnenberg was angry Monday and was demanding accountability from other organizations, as well.
“You might want to start with the (Madison County) board of health, who is disputing the numbers released (by the state) today,” Bronnenberg said in a text message. “Other counties are giving much better info. Madison County is very vague.”
Another relative of a recent Bethany Pointe resident called the assisted-living facility’s staff “irresponsible.”
Bob Reed said that when his brother was released from Bethany Pointe on Thursday an employee told him that three or four people at the facility had just tested positive for COVID-19.
Reed was told, he said, that his brother was being released without orders to quarantine because he was asymptomatic.
“My brother just called me about 20 minutes ago from Community Hospital ER saying he is being tested for the virus after having to call an ambulance,” Reed said Monday, adding that his brother is being admitted for pneumonia symptoms.
“I can’t understand how they (Bethany Pointe staff) could be so irresponsible to release him out in public when he was around it and not quarantined for 14 days,” Reed said.
The Anderson said that coronavirus “scares the daylights out of me.”
“One person can infect 10 people, 10 people can infect 100, 100 people can infect 1,000 people — it just keeps multiplying,” Reed said.