There are at least 104 people believed to be infected with COVID-19 at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center nursing home in Brighton Township, according to three officials.
The officials all spoke to BeaverCountian.com on condition they not be identified by name due to increasing tensions between the nursing home and county government.
It remains unclear how many deaths have resulted from the outbreak so far.
The facility houses approximately 460 patients, according to Brighton Rehab. The company employs about 300 healthcare workers, according to the SEIU which represents its staff.
Brighton Rehab administration has refused to answer questions from reporters about the outbreak. The last time the nursing home publicly released information on the number of infected patients at their facility was on April 2, when it issued a statement saying 38 residents had tested positive. It has not issued any press releases since April 7.
BeaverCountian.com first reported about a patient testing positive for COVID-19 at Brighton Rehab on March 27. Officials told BeaverCountian.com on April 6 at least 11 people had died after becoming infected at the facility.
Several family members who have relatives at Brighton Rehab told BeaverCountian.com today that phones went unanswered when they attempted to call for information on their loved ones’ condition. The facility has been quarantined from outside visitors since March 12.
The Beaver County Transit Authority (BCTA) suspended bus service to Brighton Rehab on April 10, saying it was removing the facility from its routes “due to COVID-19 safety concerns.”
On April 12, BeaverCountian.com reported about an experimental treatment being administered to residents of the facility who have not tested positive for the virus, in hopes of preventing them from becoming infected.
According to data released by PA Department of Health today, there are currently 156 cases of COVID-19 in Beaver County with 14 deaths attributed to the virus.
County officials have said the number of countywide deaths reported by the Department of Health is significantly lower than numbers they are receiving locally, which put the death toll over 18.
Department of Health Press Secretary Nate Wardle is blaming delays in their reporting on County Coroner David Gabauer.
“The Beaver County Coroner is reporting deaths as he signs the death certificate,” Wardle told BeaverCountian.com. “At times, there may be delays from the local officials in putting that information into our system. The department is working each day to reconcile the information coming in from hospitals and from death certificates to work to provide the most accurate information available as of midnight.”
Although Gabauer has released overall numbers of coronavirus deaths to both county commissioners and the media, he has refused to say how many of those deaths stem from the outbreak at Brighton Rehab. Gabauer has said providing greater insight into the deaths would be “not fair” to families and businesses.
Officials tell BeaverCountian.com that county government is concerned about the possible number of deaths that may result from the coronavirus, and ordered a rink at Bradys Run Park Ice Arena refrozen in case it needs to be utilized as a contingency morgue.