Updated: April 10, 2020 06:35 PM
Created: April 10, 2020 06:01 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico’s Attorney General confirmed he is investigating one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in New Mexico-- at the La Vida Llena Assisted Living Facility in northeast Albuquerque.
The New Mexico governor’s office reports that there have been six COVID-19-related deaths at La Vida Llena, and more than 50 positive cases of the virus.
A staff member, who wished to remain anonymous, told KOB 4 that he is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, and is awaiting test results.
Other staff members have told KOB 4, off camera, that they believe the spread could have been avoided if management had taken precautions earlier. They said management refused to let them wear face masks and gloves, and didn’t enforce social distancing orders.
Additionally, they said non-essential employees, like cosmetologists and other employees who help with activities, were still forced to work, putting more people at risk.
In early April, the situation was so bad, the state created a COVID-19 testing site just for La Vida Llena residents and staff.
Due to those factors, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is investigating the facility’s practices for managing the health and safety of vulnerable residents.
Haverland Carter, the parent company for La Vida Llena, sent KOB 4 the following statement:
“We are not aware of any investigation of La Vida Llena, regarding its practices as they relate to COVID-19. We did receive a phone call from the Attorney General’s Office, requesting communications to our residents and staff related to the actions that we have taken since the Department of Health initiated the response to COVID-19 in New Mexico. In full cooperation with the request for these communications, two days after the request we sent all such documents to the Attorney General’s office. We will continue to cooperate with all requests for information from the AG’s office.”
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company