Family questions safety at Upland facility after outbreak, death of loved one with Down syndrome

The family of a man who died after testing positive for COVID-19 says the Upland nursing home where he lived in wasn't properly prepared for the virus.
UPLAND, Calif. (KABC) -- A family is demanding answers from an Upland nursing home following the death of their loved one, who they believe fell victim to COVID-19.

Cindy Carrillo says the health of her brother, David, started going downhill in a hurry earlier this month. David, who had Down syndrome, was being cared for at Villa Mesa Care Center.

"I'm really sad that I put him there to be taken care of, and he passed because they weren't taking the proper guidelines to take care of him," Carrillo said.

She said they got a call April 9 that David was in respiratory distress. He was taken to the hospital and the next day he tested positive for coronavirus. A week later he was dead.

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San Bernardino County has confirmed at least 11 cases of COVID-19 at Villa Mesa. Carrillo and her family say the facility wasn't properly prepared for the virus.

"We saw my brother on the 30th through the window of the facility and none of the nurses or the staff were covered with their masks," Carrillo said. "As of March 12, they should have been protecting themselves and the residents and that didn't happen."

A spokesperson for the facility provided a statement that read in part: "Our staff and ownership have taken all reasonable measures to reduce opportunities for social spreading and mitigate risks for our residents, while still providing essential care. Facility management and ownership continue to ensure that the San Antonio facility is equipped with Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) that will aid in the protection of all the residents and staff."

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health told Eyewitness News it is planning to visit the location Monday and is working to have everyone there tested.
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