Mariposa Co. man wants apology from nursing home as he believes wife died from COVID-19

MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- "There's a long way from standard, legal and right."

Jack Wilmeth of Mariposa County says his wife, Janet, wasn't responsive enough to speak to him on the phone except for a few times before picking her up from the Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

On April 18, he says the center told him they'd be releasing his 78-year-old wife two days later.

"And I said, 'Well, what kind of condition is she in? Am I gonna be able to take care of her,'" he said. "They said, 'Well, she can transfer from bed to wheelchair with assistance.' What that they didn't say was with a lot of assistance."

It wasn't until after Janet was back home that Jack got a phone call from the nursing home saying an employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

He says he didn't hear from the center again until a few days later when the center had three positive patients and three positive staff.

"I said, 'Well, good, you're gonna test, right? Because she was there,'" he said.

But Janet's health problems persisted even after her release.

Within days, Jack called 911, where medics returned to her Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock.

"They admitted her there and tested her immediately," he said. "I guess she was found COVID-19 positive at that point."

Jack also tested positive, and Janet died about a week later.

"I think she got the virus at Turlock Nursing," he said.

Another patient there, Aaron Harlan, says he tested positive for the virus after being at the facility for 12 weeks.

"They put me in with a roommate," Harlan said. "There was coughing and hacking and a shared bathroom with another roommate behind it."

Aaron is now quarantined at his home in Turlock and plans to take legal action against Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

We reached out to Covenant Care for a response to the allegation, but as of Monday night, we have not heard back.

Meanwhile, Jack says he simply wants an apology from the center for the way it handled the treatment and release of his wife.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.