Briarcliff nursing home cases substantially spike in Carthage as concern grows

Local News

CARTHAGE, Texas (KETK) – 40% of coronavirus deaths in Texas are coming from nursing homes.

A local facility in East Texas is contributing to that number after six people have died within the Briarcliff Nursing Home in Carthage.

The number of positive cases inside has gone up substantially since our last report.

Three weeks ago, there were nine residents who had the coronavirus. Two weeks ago, there were 19 cases. On Monday, 49 residents either have coronavirus or have died from it.

That’s more than 80% of Briarcliff residents.

It’s just really sad, it breaks my heart.

Anonymous Employee

It’s not only residents coming down with the virus, one nurse’s aid also contracted COVID-19 and spoke to KETK exclusively.

“I’m sad one minute, I’m mad the next minute, it just messed with me mentally,” she said.

We have decided to keep her identity hidden. Thankfully, she’s physically recovered but says there was no compensation when out sick.

“She said that we weren’t going to get paid because they couldn’t prove if we got the coronavirus at Briarcliff,” said the former employee

Briarcliff sent us this statement today in response to employees getting the coronavirus.

Prior to the outbreak at briarcliff, a special compensation rate was applied to our staff.

Briarcliff Statement

Roberts & Roberts Law Firm said it comes down to this for compensation:

If you’re hurt on the job by either an injury or a disease, then your employer is responsible for taking care of you.

Roberts & Roberts

The nurse told us she is confident on where she contracted the virus.

“I know that’s where I got it because all I do is go to work and home,” she said.

This staff member said she was told to take vacation time and when that ran out, there would be no further compensation. That led to her quitting over the initial way Briarcliff handled the situation.

We had so many cases and they weren’t providing us with the proper protection so I decided not to go back.

Anonymous Employee

This is a similar situation as the initial whistleblower we spoke to.

“I’m going to be doing this forever at the rate they’re going so I told them I can’t come back,” another anonymous employee.

Both of them were uncomfortable to continue working in the environment that now accounts for 40% of all cases in panola county.

26 Briarcliff Nursing Home employees have contracted COVID-19. That’s 37% of their staff infected.

One of their nurse aids died from the virus a few weeks back.

In response to that employee’s death, Briarcliff wrote:

We are grateful for the healthcare services provided at Briarcliff and to other facilities throughout the employee’s career, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the employee’s loved ones during this difficult time.”

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Briarcliff has taken new measures to keep faculty and members safe. Recently, spending thousands of dollars on a new antiviral disinfection treatment.

This service will be repeated in the future once we begin to admit patients
to our COVID-free units.

Briarcliff Nursing Home

Another good measure recently taken was transferring memory care patients not infected from this facility to another.

“This was done to further protect these residents and to make available space for our residents recovering from COVID. We look forward to welcoming the transferred residents back to Briarcliff soon.”

It’s heartbreaking to report the numbers inside this facility.

People sending prayers and support for the residents and staff inside. Hopefully, soon we can report on recoveries from inside Briarcliff.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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