May 3, 2020 at 5:54 AM EDT – Updated May 3 at 5:54 AM
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CNN) – The family of an 81-year-old Minnesota man, who died after testing positive for coronavirus, has filed a complaint against his long-term care facility, where roughly half of residents have been infected with COVID-19.
Michelle Krone never thought she would say goodbye to her 81-year-old father, Robert Krone, while draped in personal protective equipment, but she received a call April 23 from St. Therese of New Hope, the long-term care facility where he lived, telling her he was terminal.
When Michelle Krone and her mother, Margaret Krone, went to the care facility, it was the first time they had seen her father in weeks. It took him about 35 minutes to recognize them, but once he did, Michelle Krone says they “started feeding him and just held his hands.”
Robert Krone died eight days after his family found out he had COVID-19.
“We were able to hold his hand and tell him how much we loved him and appreciated the sacrifices and how he was a good father,” Michelle Krone said.
St. Therese announced Wednesday that roughly half the residents at the facility had been infected with COVID-19. A day later, it announced 47 residents had died.
The Krone family says they have filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Health against the facility, citing lack of communication with families and concerns over lack of PPE and proper staffing.
On March 12, more than a month before Robert Krone’s diagnosis, the care facility stopped allowing in-person visits. Michelle Krone says the next facility-wide update came April 23, telling families that COVID-19 was making its way through the center.
“We wanted to know – and this was before his diagnosis – how bad was it: do we need to take him out of the facility and bring him home?” she said.
The facility says they never violated the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though MDH did not find problems during an April 1 survey, they have said they will investigate complaints.
Margaret Krone is now showing symptoms and waiting for COVID-19 test results. Michelle Krone was tested, too.
Copyright 2020 WCCO, Michelle Krone via CNN. All rights reserved.