JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a resident at Life Care Center of Jacksonville is concerned after learning that a former nursing assistant at the health care facility filed a lawsuit, saying the facility isn’t doing enough to ensure residents and staff are safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said her grandmother has only tested negative for COVID-19, but because she was recently in the hospital, the facility and the Department of Health recently moved her to Life Care Center’s Southside location. Lula Jones, who filed the lawsuit, said she worked at the same location for about a year.
The granddaughter of the resident said her family didn’t know about the lawsuit until seeing News4Jax’s story.
“Obviously, that did raise a major concern. We are, you know, worried about that, what validity there is to that lawsuit. We’re interested in the facts of that lawsuit because that is our loved one and we want to make sure that she’s in the best place possible and being taken care of 100 percent," the woman said.
The woman said in the few weeks her grandmother has been at the Southside location, they personally haven’t had any issues. But she said she worries about the allegations from the former employee and about the safety of long-term care facilities in general during this time.
“We don’t have a lot of options. It seems like every nursing home that you hear about or talk to that COVID is getting in regardless of the measures that they are putting into place," the woman said. “Right now, we’re being told that the current home that she’s in now has no COVID patients and that they are completely COVID free, as well as all of the employees, so right now we feel good about what we are hearing. But then again, we’re also interested in the facts of the new story that came out.”
As of Wednesday, according to the Florida Department of Health’s website, there weren’t any COVID-19 patients or deaths reported at Life Care Center in Jacksonville.
According to the state Department of Health, other Life Care Center locations in the Northeast Florida area have had residents or staff test positive for COVID-19, including Life Care Center of Hilliard, of Orange Park and at Wells Crossing.
The director of public relations for Life Care Center told News4Jax they cannot provide comment due to the pending legal action.