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Woman, 80, Dies, 4 Others Infected After NJ Home Health Aide Ignores Self-Isolation Instruction

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Home health care Photo Credit: Pixabay

An 80-year-old New Jersey woman died and four other household members tested positive for the coronavirus after a home health aide ignored instructions to self-quarantine, state authorities said.

Josefina Brito-Hernandez, 49, of Camden went to a local COVID-19 testing site, without telling the family, after not feeling well, state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said.

“Once she was tested, Brito-Hernandez was told to self-isolate -- even before her results came back -- because she had been in contact with someone who was suspected to be positive for COVID-19 (and who ultimately was found to be positive),” Grewal said.

Instead, he said, Brito-Hernandez went back to work at the home without a face mask or any other personal protective equipment – despite her employer’s requirement that PPE be worn at all times.

Home video shows Brito-Hernandez “caring for her elderly patient by feeding her, giving her a sponge bath and taking her vital signs – all while not wearing PPE,” Grewal said.

“Brito also cared for two developmentally disabled siblings in the household, also without wearing PPE,” he said.

The elderly patient and four other members of the household subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, the attorney general said.

The elderly patient was subsequently hospitalized and died several days later, he said.

Authorities charged Brito-Hernandez with five counts of endangerment and released her pending court action.


ALSO SEE: From the devastation that the coronavirus has wrought on New Jersey nursing homes comes a woman who has survived not just this pandemic but a far deadlier one more than a century ago.


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