Family members fear for the safety of their loved ones staying at Colorado nursing homes

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By: Ivan Rodriguez ABC 7 Denver, April 14 2020

DENVER — Since the summer of 2017, Wendy Dikes’ mother, Brenda Dikes, has been a resident of Mesa Vista of Boulder.

But just in the last week, Wendy Dikes says her life has become a nightmare.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m virtually watching my mom die. I feel like I’m watching her be exposed to something that is very likely going to take her life and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Dikes said.

Officials at Mesa Vista of Boulder say out of 149 residents, so far only two have tested positive for COVID-19. Dikes said her mother’s roommate has been showing symptoms related to the new virus for the last week and has been kept quarantined in the same room and because of her health, taking her out of the facility isn’t an option.

“I can’t take care of her, I can’t physically do it and I don’t have the medical training,” Dikes said. “And the second is, she may have been exposed and I have two little kids here, my husband has asthma. It’s a risk to us and it’s a horrible situation to have to choose.”

Cynthia Coene, the Chief Medical Officer of Vivage, which oversees Mesa Vista of Boulder, said their facility is near capacity and for the safety of other residents, moving people who may be sick to another room isn’t so simple.

“If we’re concerned about resident and if there’s another resident obviously in that room, if you move resident B, she could be an asymptomatic carrier and now you’ve just potentially spread whatever might be in that room somewhere else,” Coene said.

Having not seen her mother in more than a month, all Dikes can do is pray the measures the facility is taking are enough to keep her safe.

“I would tell her I love her. I wish I could have done more for her but I don’t know what else I can do at this point,” Dikes said.