Burlington Health, ranked by regulators last year as one of the state’s worst nursing homes, did some things right: It eventually tested all residents and staff members and isolated positive cases. It moved out a floor of healthy patients. Administrators updated families on Zoom conference calls, initially twice a day, an unusual level of transparency. A nearby nursing home, rated one of the state’s better facilities, had a higher death toll.
Still, 11 Burlington residents died after contracting Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Relatives said they saw lapses in the home’s infection-control practices. The facility was pilloried in the press. In this lakeside community of about 43,000, people shouted “Murderers!” as they drove past. Families of three residents who died said they hoped to sue.
“Covid didn’t kill her; neglect did,” said John Reynolds, the son-in-law of a resident who had the disease yet died from a urinary tract infection that spread throughout her body. He said the family had told the home repeatedly about her history of such infections. He and his wife have since talked to state investigators about what happened, he said.