By Missy Schrott | [email protected]
Nina Forbes, 56, a nurse who worked at Silverado Alexandria, died from COVID-19 on April 25, sparking questions about the memory care facility’s coronavirus response.
Silverado reported its first case of COVID-19 on April 12. Since then, the facility has reported that multiple residents have tested positive for COVID-19. However, leadership has declined to publicly disclose how many.
Forbes’ daughters told NBC Washington that they believe their mother’s illness was caused by a lack of information about the facility’s outbreak and a lack of proper protective equipment on the job.
One daughter said Forbes was concerned that there wasn’t enough PPE, while the other said she thought Silverado “didn’t do a good job communicating that there were confirmed cases” or sharing information about protocols.
On May 6, the same day the NBC story aired, Silverado sent a letter to its community addressing the news segment. The letter, signed by Silverado Administrator Katie Hilburn, pushes back on Forbes’ family’s allegations.
First, the letter addresses the statement that staff did not have adequate PPE. Hilburn wrote that Silverado staff have been using PPE, including hand sanitizer and surgical face masks, since before the first sign of COVID-19 symptoms at the facility. Associates began wearing additional layers of protection, including KN95 masks and face shields, after the first sign of symptoms, Hilburn wrote.
In response to the allegations about a lack of communication, Hilburn argued that Silverado has been transparent.
“I have done my best to be transparent and forthcoming in my communication with families as well as with many of our partners, sharing when we had a positive case, when we had multiple positive cases, and letting you know that we had experienced loss,” Hilburn wrote. “We are doing our very best to update everyone in a timely manner while also protecting resident privacy, being vigilant, and responding to a rapidly changing situation.”
The letter also mourns Forbes’ death.
“Her dedication never wavered and she displayed tremendous courage on the frontlines here in recent weeks. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this remarkable professional who is dearly missed,” Hilburn wrote.
Forbes wrote in a Facebook post that she tested positive for COVID-19 on April 14. She said she had no underlying health conditions.
“I think the one [conspiracy theory] that really ticks me off is the belief that only people who are overweight with underlying health problems get this virus. Well let me tell you that’s not true,” Forbes wrote. “… I’m extremely healthy I have no underlining health problems got a full physical in January healthy as a horse. But guess what I got the damn virus …”
Forbes was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania on July 29, 1963. After working in a variety of fields throughout her career, Forbes obtained her nursing degree at age 52.
Forbes is survived by her parents, Estelle and Carl Brown; her children, Jason, Jessica and Jennifer Forbes; her grandchildren, Grace, Joy, Jason Jr., Jor-El, Olivia and Faith; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, step-sisters, step-brothers and friends.
Read Nina Forbes’ full obituary here.