Kirkland Nursing Home Family Curtis Luterman
Families of quarantined nursing home residents want answers
00:53 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

In the span of 24 hours, Debbie de los Angeles was told her mother came down with a 104-degree fever, possibly had coronavirus and died.

That was almost a week ago. As of Monday, a total of 16 people linked to the Life Care Center in suburban Seattle have died from coronavirus.

But like other families of residents at the nursing home, de los Angeles still has no idea whether her mother really had the virus.

“I’m hoping to find out today,” she told CNN on Monday.

“The medical examiner told me to check today. They tested her post-mortem, and there’s I think a couple others that they’re waiting on results, too. There was another lady that had similar circumstances, where she got the call that she had the fever, and then 24 hours later, she’s passed.”

Widespread uncertainty has compounded the grief in Kirkland, Washington.

Susan Hailey, 76, is recovering from knee surgery and a broken ankle at Life Care Center. She’s already lost one close friend there and worries who else might die from the disease.

“You just don’t know who’s going to die next,” she told CNN affiliate KIRO.

“A very good friend of mine died Sunday,” she said. “It’s terrible; she was a lovely, lovely woman.”

De los Angeles said she’s frustrated that not everyone at the afflicted nursing home was tested for coronavirus. Her mother wasn’t tested until after she died.

“I just think that Life Care, being the epicenter around here for the virus … I think a priority should have been given to get test(s) in there to those residents,” she said.

“And they said, ‘Well, tests were short, there was a shortage.’”

But de los Angeles commended the Life Care Center staff, including those who may be risking their lives to care for their patients.

“I have to hand it to the staff. They were way overworked and understaffed,” de los Angeles said.

Before her mom died, her nurse insisted on taking care of her.

“Staff had been getting sick and were out,” de los Angeles said. “Mom’s nurse, she just kept coming to work because she said, ‘Our patients need us’ – even though it was walking into a dangerous situation really every day.”

CNN’s Christine Sever contributed to this report.