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One of Beaver County’s biggest nursing homes hit hard by COVID-19

BEAVER, Pa. — One of the biggest nursing homes in Beaver County has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center so far, with three confirmed deaths.

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One of those deaths was 73-year-old Earl Denbow, who had Parkinson’s disease and other health problems. His daughter told Channel 11 he went from seemingly fine to dead in just over a week.

“They called me last Monday to say that he wasn’t feeling well, and they started him on an IV and he had a slight fever,” said Keri Boyer, his daughter. “They tested him Thursday. They got the (positive) results on Friday. They called hospice in on Sunday, and he was gone yesterday ... that quick."

Officials said one resident died overnight Thursday, but it’s not clear if COVID-19 directly contributed to their death.

The facility released the following statement:

"As we continue to navigate this crisis together, note that more than a week ago Brighton had successfully acquired all CDC recommended PPE’s, and had a strong treatment program in place for residents. Yesterday, we added a much needed agreement with our labor union partner.

We cannot fully express our residents’ appreciation and respect for those who are working hard day-in and day-out at this unprecedented time. We do hope that a big THANK YOU and Brighton’s agreement with all Union requests will help us to move forward in unity as we all do our part to care for our residents in need.

Every person in our community at least partially understands the difficulties and sacrifices being made by our staff to care for more than 460 souls and do their best to keep them out of harm’s way. Some express their feelings as fear; others show love and support; still others respond with humor, or sadness. We understand all of these as we too are all human; the brave and able are all serving for the common good and we plan to stand by our residents to the very best of our ability until we come out the other side of this pandemic. While the prognosis is not as good as we would like for those of advanced age with a host of comorbidities, many nursing home residents are recovering from COVID-19, and all are very worthy of our efforts. We fully intend to continue to give our residents what they deserve — our care, our love, and our best efforts."

Overworked employees complaining of conditions inside met with their union and management with several positive outcomes, including:

  • N-95 masks for every worker on quarantined units
  • Face masks, gowns for direct care workers
  • On-site testing for all employees with 24-hour results

The facility has also agreed to give employees hazard pay during this time.

The CDC issued new guidance for nursing homes. It includes daily symptoms screenings for all staff and residents. All staff should use appropriate personal protective equipment and separate staffing teams.

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