The official cause of Theresa Martorana’s death was “natural causes,” but D’Orsaneo said she believes the impact of Covid-19 on the nursing home reduced her quality of life.
“She went into the hospital last March for stomach pains and once they stabilized her, she was sent to the nursing home for rehabilitation,” the daughter said.
A few days after arriving at Northgate Health Care Facility, Martorana fell out of her bed in the middle of the night, gashed her head and had to be taken back to the hospital for stitches, according to D’Orsaneo.
“I want to know how long will it be before he lets us in,” said Michelle Layer, whose 91-year-old father lives at Harris Hill Nursing Facility. “I have had both of my Covid vaccination shots and I should be allowed in as a caretaker.”
Dawn M. Harsch, a spokeswoman for Northgate, issued a statement defending the facility.
“As with any loss, we mourn the passing of each resident, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement read. “Since March of 2020, our team has faced unprecedented hurdles to which they have responded with ingenuity, determination and selflessness.
“For more than a year, we have worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Health to incorporate aggressive infection control measures, screening practices, PPE use, vaccination administration and advanced cleaning protocols.
“As such, Northgate has received nine deficiency-free infection control surveys from the Department of Health and continues to integrate new educational components as they evolve.”