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'We categorically deny it' | Charles County nursing home answers claims about PPE, staffing and case numbers

Families with loved ones at Sagepoint Senior Living had planned to hold a protest next to the facility Monday.

LA PLATA, Md. — A Charles County nursing home is answering more questions about its handling of the coronavirus' spread within its walls.

Several family members have told WUSA9 that there have been multiple deaths related to the coronavirus at Sagepoint Senior Living facility in La Plata, Maryland.

Barbara Buchanan said her 84-year-old mother, Betty Sams, passed away from the coronavirus Thursday while in Sagepoint's care.

She said she wants more transparency from the facility. Buchanan said she had to make dozens of calls just to get her mother's health statistics.

"We got no information at all on our parents," she said.

RELATED: Charles County residents push for transparency from nursing home

Specifically, Buchanan and other Charles County families have called on Sagepoint to release exact statistics on the number of coronavirus cases at the nursing home.

However, Sagepoint spokesperson Joyce Riggs said her facility still cannot release that information until the Maryland Health Department gives it approval to do so.

"The message I got today was that they were working on it," Riggs said.

Dr. Howard Haft, of the Maryland Department of Health, said during a press conference Friday the state still did not have the ability to provide any specific details regarding coronavirus cases in Charles County nursing homes and senior living facilities.

"Right now, we don't have a responsible way to report that that compares kind of apples-to-apples across facilities," he said.

The Carroll County Health Department has released the specific number of cases for residents and staff with the coronavirus at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The department says 26 people have died at that facility.

WUSA9 reached out to the Maryland Health Department to see when it would release specific totals in regard to nursing home coronavirus cases in Charles County. A spokesperson said Monday evening he was working to gather that information.

RELATED: 'Keeping families informed helps with the grief' | Daughter lost dad to COVID-19 in Charles County nursing home and wants answers

Riggs also responded to several other claims made about Sagepoint Monday.

She disputed an allegation from a former nursing assistant which claimed personal protective equipment was purposely withheld from staff in late March.

"I will tell you, we categorically deny it," she said. "That's not true."

Riggs also addressed concerns that staffing levels at Sagepoint are low. She said they are currently adequately, but some workers have left.

"It is getting tougher, quite honestly, because of all the negative press and the media coverage," she said. "It's getting harder and our staff is... it's just hard for them."

Some Charles County families had planned to hold a protest in a parking lot next to Sagepoint Monday evening. However, that parking was blocked off to visitors. A local police officer told WUSA9 it had been closed by Charles County.

RELATED: Feds to track, publicly share info on nursing home COVID-19 outbreaks

RELATED: Positive coronavirus case doesn't allegedly stop discharge order at Maryland hospital

RELATED: 'Keeping families informed helps with the grief' | Daughter lost dad to COVID-19 in Charles County nursing home and wants answers

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