Family mourns the loss of loved one at Accordius Health facility

Bridgette said her mother went by Ms.Alberta to many and was peaceful and sweet.
Bridgette said her mother went by Ms.Alberta to many and was peaceful and sweet.(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 21, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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Over the past two years, Bridgette Barbour's 71-year-old mother, Alberta Barbour, had been a resident of


Bridgette said many people called her mother Ms. Alberta and said she was very sweet and could never say no to anybody.

"She was just a nice person, very peaceful, and very gentle," Bridgette said. "She could be feisty too, but she was a sweetheart."

Bridgette said the coronavirus outbreak really hit home for her as just a few weeks ago, because her son tested positive for the virus.

She said her son was fine and went into quarantine for two weeks, per the CDC's guidelines, and stayed away from everyone, including family members.

Then, this past Wednesday, she said she received a call from Accordius Health's corporate office in North Carolina. They called to notify her that her mother had tested positive for COVID-19 as health officials began to investigate an outbreak at Accordius.

Bridgette said she immediately tried to call the facility in Harrisonburg, but got no answer. [


She continued to call until Thursday evening, when she was able to get ahold of her mom.

On Friday, Bridgette and her family stopped by for a window visit to make sure her mom was doing okay. On Saturday, she went to see her mom again, but could tell her health was deteriorating in just the past few days.

"The first day we went to visit my mom outside of her window, she could blow us a kiss and wave at us," Bridgette said. "Then the next day we went back to see her, she couldn't even talk."

Bridgette said Sunday morning, she received a call that her mother had died due to the coronavirus.

Ms. Alberta was one of the

at the facility as of Monday.

"I wasn't able to be there with her when she passed away, so she was basically all alone," Bridgette said. "I get really upset because I want answers as to why they didn't do anything more for all these residents."

On Monday, WHSV

, who described what the medical staff is doing for the patients.

Bridgette said she just wants to know why families weren't notified sooner about what was going on.

On Saturday, Accordius Health released a statement on the speed at which they notified families if their loved one was positive for the coronavirus.

The release stated when the virus hit their Harrisonburg center, “it was like a freight train.” "We literally went from 1 mildly symptomatic case to 50 in 72 hours. There is still so much scientifically that is unknown about this virus and we, along with the rest of the medical and healthcare community are learning every day."

Bridgette said she knows she and many other families are hurting over the loss and she wants to know how the virus got in to the facility after they stopped visitation and said they were screening employees.

"When I went to the funeral home yesterday to do my mom's funeral arrangement, the guy there had told me they just brought another body in from Accordius," Bridgette said. "So the rate is going up of these elderly people dying and I don't think it's fair to us and I don't think it's fair to the residents."

The outbreak at Accordius Health Harrisonburg is one of eight total outbreaks in the Central Shenandoah Health District, but the only one in a long-term care center. There are also four outbreaks in congregate settings, one in an education setting, one in a correctional facility, and onein a health care facility.

In a press release on Monday night, the health district said five of the ten residents had been transferred from Accordius Health of Harrisonburg, but had passed away at a local hospital. The agency said 28 residents at the Harrisonburg facility are ill with COVID-19 symptoms and are receiving symptomatic care that includes intravenous fluids, oxygen, and medications.

That's out of 81 total positive cases at the facility.