Julie Carey

Daughter of Virginia Coronavirus Patient Concerned With Rehab Center’s Care

The facility said they were “reaching out to all patient families via phone call and letter and have made our employees aware as well”

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A 70-year-old woman who was in the care of a rehabilitation center in Arlington, Virginia, is one of the state’s newest coronavirus patients. Her daughter fears that how her mother’s case was handled may have spread the virus. 

Lisa Chesnut’s mother was recovering at the Cherrydale Health & Rehabilitation Center after she broke her leg. She had a cough and fever, but she and her mother’s home health aide were assured she was OK when she was discharged on Tuesday. News4 agreed to conceal the patient’s identity. 

A day later, she tested positive for the virus. 

“I drove from New Jersey to Arlington to pick her up and she was home for 24 hours before she was in the hospital and tested positive for COVID,” Chesnut said. 

Cherrydale Health & Rehabilitation Center said they learned of the positive test result Thursday. 

“We are currently reaching out to all patient families via phone call and letter and have made our employees aware as well,” they said in a statement. “We are partnering closely with the local health department and actively observing all patients for any change that might indicate a need for additional medical testing or intervention.” 

Chesnut's mother is now on oxygen at Virginia Hospital Center. Chesnut, her home health care aide and her family were all potentially exposed to the virus. 

“I’m disappointed and scared. It’s not just my mom. It’s other people’s families’ too — moms and dads and grandparents,” she said through tears. 

Chesnut said she fears that staffers at the rehab center may have been exposed, too. She believes they should have been more proactive and tested her mother before she was released. 

Virginia’s governor announced a state task force Friday afternoon to help protect residents and workers of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, after 525 confirmed cases and dozens of outbreaks. 

State officials will make sure the facilities have the protective equipment, cleaning supplies and staffing they need, Gov. Ralph Northam said. 

“Every person in assisted living or long-term care is someone’s parent or loved one. It is vital we protect them,” he said. 

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