Maple Grove Health & Rehabilitation, a Greensboro nursing home where 12 residents have died, has suddenly claimed a prominent place on the state Department of Health and Human Services list of congregate living settings with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

On Friday morning, the entry for Maple Grove on the state list indicated 11 positive cases and no deaths. By 4 p.m., when the list was updated, the numbers had jumped from zero to 12 resident deaths, with 49 positive cases among residents and eight positive cases among staff.

SarahLewis Peel, a spokesperson for the state Department of Health and Human Services, said the state report relies on numbers provided by local public health departments.

“In order to be reflected in the reports, data must be updated by early afternoon of the day the report is posted,” she said in an email to Triad City Beat. “This is a rapidly evolving situation and our report is updated twice a week, so facilities, the local health department and NCDHHS may report different numbers at certain times.”

The deaths at Maple Grove did not all occur since the list was last updated on Tuesday. Death certificates on file at the Guilford County Register of Deeds show that three people died at the facility from May 26 to May 31 due to COVID-19, and three others died at the facility from other causes but with COVID-19 listed as a “significant condition contributing to death but not resulting in the underlying cause.” The deaths due to COVID-19 include Mary Fanny Jackson, a 90-year-old black woman who worked as nurse; Ronnie Steven Lucas, a 69-year-old black man who worked as an electric powerline tech for the US Air Force; and Marie Catherine McLaughlin, an 84-year-old black woman who was a retired domestic worker. The three other residents who died from other causes while testing positive for COVID-19 include James Richard Funk, an 87-year-old white man who worked as an electrical engineer in the telecom industry; Roy Paul Gilmore, a 74-year-old white man who performed maintenance for a stone company; and Revell Smith, an 81-year-old black woman who worked as a presser for a dry-cleaning service.

The death certificates provide an incomplete record due to the lag time in recording and filing.

Those six deaths on record at the Guilford County Register of Deeds don’t include Nellie Smith, who died on June 4, the same day her test came back positive for COVID-19, according to a report published by the News & Record. Smith’s death was brought to the newspaper’s attention by her granddaughter, Cathy Hartman of Liberty.

Peel said the state Division of Health Service Regulation is conducting Infection Control Surveys at all Medicare-certified nursing homes in North Carolina, including Maple Grove.

An administrator at Maple Grove did not return a phone message to TCB on Friday.

The facility has been the subject of 35 complaints to the state Division of Health Service Regulation since 2011.

“My ultimate goal would be for them to be shut down because I don’t feel like they’re providing adequate care,” Hartman told TCB, adding that she believes the current investigation was prompted by her reporting her grandmother’s death to the state.

“I wholeheartedly believe that my grandmother’s death could have been prevented,” Hartman said. “It’s too late for that now, but maybe we can save someone else’s life.”

The updated state report gives Maple Grove the dubious distinction of the second-highest number of deaths from COVID-19 at a congregate living facility in Guilford County, after Clapp’s Nursing Home in Pleasant Garden, with 15 resident deaths and 62 positive cases among residents and 28 positive cases among staff. Camden Place Health and Rehabilitation in Greensboro has reported eight resident deaths, 52 positive cases among residents and 16 positive cases among staff.

Death certificates also show that a 92-year-old resident died at Heritage Greens in Greensboro from pneumonia and COVID-19, and an 83-year-old resident died at Beacon Place in Greensboro, also from pneumonia and COVID-19. And two residents in their 90s who tested positive for COVID-19 have died from congestive heart failure and severe dementia, respectively, at Piedmont Christian Home in High Point.

Heritage Greens, Beacon Place and Piedmont Christian Home are not on the state’s list of facilities with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. The state defines a COVID-19 outbreak in a congregate living setting as two or more laboratory confirmed cases. To come off the list, a facility must show that 28 days has elapsed since the last sign of symptoms or the latest specimen collection from an asymptomatic person. 

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