The families of seniors locked down at a Washington state nursing long-term care facility are worried that time is running out before their relatives fall ill.
Visitors were barred from Life Care Center in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, after a series of 14 coronavirus infections sprang up at the home.
Children and spouses of the nursing home's residents say that staff are keeping the elderly isolated in their rooms and checking their temperatures daily.
However, they are scared that their loved ones who show symptoms will not be tested or hospitalized until they are in serious condition.
One woman said her mother and the other residents are being 'held hostage in a petri dish.'
As of Tuesday, there are 111 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and six deaths. All of the deaths occurred in Washington, and four are linked to Life Care Center.
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One woman says she asked for her mother, Susan Haley (left and right), who lives at Life Care Center in Kirkland, to be tested but she was denied. Haley's daughter has described the residents as being 'held hostage in a petri dish'
Another woman, Bonnie Halstad (pictured) said her calls went unanswered for days as she asked for news about her husband, Ken, who lives at the home
As of Tuesday, health officials say 111 people across the US have been infected with coronavirus and that six people, all in Washington state, have died
Carmen Gray, of Bothell, told CBS News that her mother, Susan Haley, is one of the patients under quarantine at LifeCare Center.
She says she asked for her mother to be tested for the virus, but was refused.
'[They said she] did not meet the criteria at this time,' Gray said. 'They're being held hostage in a petri dish.'
And Bonnie Holstad said staff is refusing to speak to her about the condition of her her husband, Ken, who is at the facility recovering from broken hip.
She says her calls to the center have gone repeatedly unanswered and she is desperate for news that he is okay after he had a cough. He also suffers from Parkinson's disease and dementia.
Holstad stood outside the facility on Sunday with a sign saying: 'No one at Life Care is answering the phones. He needs to be attended to...what is his temperature?'
She told CNN that, after she protested, a nurse did then check on him and told her he doesn't have a fever.
'I was so angry. How can this be that I have to do this, make a sign and go down there?' Holstad said.
'I have real problems with how they're handling the interface with family,' and added that it was 'sort of like a movie about an epidemic in a little town, and they don't know how to handle the situation.'
Holstad told how she only found out about the potential outbreak in the home when she arrived for a visit on Saturday and was turned away by a sign on the door saying no visitors allowed.
Families are worried about their loved ones at Life Care Center of Kirkland, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Washington. Pictured: Healthcare workers transfer a patient on a stretcher to an ambulance at the Life Care Center, March 1
Children and spouses of the nursing home's residents say that staff are keeping the elderly isolated in their rooms and checking their temperatures daily but not testing them for the virus. Pictured: Healthcare workers transfer a patient on a stretcher to an ambulance at the Lifeare Center, March 1
Heath officials in Washington say they expect to see more cases of Coriolanus than of the flu. Pictured: A staff member from LifeCare Center blocks the view as a person is taken by a stretcher to a waiting ambulance
She then got a message from the center telling her about the confirmed cases.
Before then she had been told staff were wearing masks because some residents had colds.
Holstad also said her husband had not been tested for coronavirus because he doesn't have all of the symptoms required for testing.
In Facebook post, Life Care said staff members are constantly monitoring patients for any signs of the virus.
'Current residents and associates continue to be monitored closely, specifically for an elevated temperature, cough and/or shortness of breath,' the post read.