Woman dies of COVID-19 related complications at Motel 6 in Roseland

(Photo supplied/Centers For Disease Control and Prevention)

City leaders in South Bend are taking some heat after a woman isolated at a coronavirus isolation center died Tuesday.

The woman was staying at a Motel 6 in Roseland.

The motel is being leased by the city as a quarantine site for homeless people infected with coronavirus to get care.

The coroner says the woman had an underlying heart condition that may have played a role in her death.

Roseland town leaders, some of whom were against the isolation center from the start, are concerned the city is not properly managing the facility.

The following information about the woman’s death was sent to 95.3 MNC from the St. Joseph County Department of Health on Tuesday, May 10:

St. Joseph County- The City of South Bend and St. Joseph County Department of Health are confirming that a guest at the Isolation Quarantine Center (IQC), located at the Motel 6 on N. Dixie Way, was found deceased today.

The guest, a woman in her mid-50s, had underlying health conditions. Her cause of death has been attributed to complications caused by COVID-19. As of yesterday afternoon, she had reported feeling better and reported that her symptoms were improving.

“It’s important to remember that SARs-CoV-2 is a deadly virus,” said St. Joseph County Health Officer Robert Einterz. “It is known to cause sudden death in individuals who seem to be recovering from the disease.”

The IQC is operated as a self-isolation site for people who are infected or suspected of being infected with COVID-19, but who have nowhere to safely self-isolate. The site is for people who do not require hospitalization,i.e., those who would otherwise have been sent home to recover.

The St. Joseph County Department of Health provides clinical oversight to ensure those persons referred to the IQC meet eligibility requirements and are medically appropriate for staying in the facility. In addition, each guests’ symptoms are monitored daily by nurses and medical students through telephone or other virtual means and reported to Dr. Einterz and Dr. Mark Fox.

Routine symptom monitoring has become standard for COVID patients in ambulatory settings to identify clinical deterioration. If indicated by the symptom monitoring, arrangements can be made for a telehealth evaluation by a local primary care physician, or if needed, transfer to an acute care hospital.

“I offer my condolences to the family for their tragic loss due to COVID-19,” said Mayor James Mueller. “This quick turn for the worse offers another reminder how relentless this virus can be. The isolation site provides a place to recover in dignity for those who have no other option and is critical to preventing a wider outbreak of the virus in our community. Our team has worked diligently to set up this site, run it, and fulfill the reporting requirements developed by the Roseland Town Board. The City’s legal team will be meeting with the Town Board’s attorneys to review their remaining concerns.”

As of Monday evening, there were 14 guests housed at the IQC.

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