Family finds answers after Monroe Community Hospital employee tests positive for COVID-19

Charles Molineaux
Updated: March 30, 2020 11:08 PM
Created: March 30, 2020 10:32 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The discovery that an employee has the coronavirus touched off an anxious search for information for the family of a woman at Monroe Community Hospital.

"Just making sure my mom is safe,” Shannon Farrell of Greece said. “There's a lot of traffic that goes in and out of those places."

Farrell’s family began to worry about her mother, Karen, who lives in Monroe Community Hospital, after the hospital sent out a message saying, “On Sunday, we learned that a staff member of Monroe Community Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation.”

Farrell had already been working to keep track of her mother, who has Alzheimer's, and who Farrell hadn’t seen in person for three weeks since Monroe Community Hospital cut off visits as part of its coronavirus containment.

The announcement was a jolt.

"It's terrifying. It's sad,” Farrell said. "My parents are obviously older and have underlying issue so it's just scary."

The statement from the hospital said, "None of the residents on the unit where the staff member worked are exhibiting symptoms of infection" and continued, "We have placed all residents in the unit into isolation. The residents will remain in their private rooms for 14 days."

Shannon Farrell says she routinely tries to get her mom on the phone every day but doesn't always succeed, and that Karen only loosely understands what's happening.

"It's been pretty tough,” she said. “She has memory issues. So, even if I do talk to her, she wouldn't really recall it so, just trying to keep her… She's usually in a good mood so that helps."

Late Monday afternoon, Shannon connected through her mother’s social worker and discovered she’s been in a different unit at Rochester

Community from where the infected person worked and that that unit is already locked under normal circumstances.

“It definitely relieved a lot of nerves and stress that I had. But, like I said, it’s scary because you just don’t know,” she said. “Just hoping and praying for this all to pass quickly as possible.”

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