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Heartbreaking wait continues for families with loved ones inside Kirkland nursing facility

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KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Outside the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland you will often find someone standing by a window waving and talking to a person on the other side.

“He started showing symptoms,” Charlie Campbell said.

Campbell's dad Gene has been under quarantine at the nursing facility due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Campbell says his dad was just taken to Swedish after running a low fever.  They are currently waiting for test results.

Campbell was at the same spot on Thursday with his mom Dorothy who is suffering from dementia.

“They’ve never been apart like this,” Campbell said.

Separated by a window, Dorothy was captured in a heartbreaking photo speaking with her husband of more than 60 years.

“My mom at one point thought my dad was dead, she didn’t know where he was that was upsetting,” Campbell said.

The mystery behind COVID-19 is scary.

But for those directly impacted at the epicenter of the outbreak in the US, they are left with little communication wondering if their loved one will survive another night.

“She’s sick, she’s coughing,” Carmen Gray said.

Gray’s mom Susan Hailey was almost well enough to get out of Life Care before the outbreak led to a quarantine of the facility.

“She told me she loved me and I told her I am proud of her,” Gray said.

That was the most recent conversation Gray had with her mother. She is grateful that her mom is well enough to speak on the phone.

Gray says her 76-year-old mom was finally tested for the coronavirus two nights ago at EvergreenHealth but brought back to the nursing facility.

Gray says she feels like she let her mother down because she promised her mom that she wouldn't have to return.

Gray and others say they appreciate all the hard work by health care workers on frontlines inside Life Care but they believe staff there are ill-equipped to deal with the virus.

Family members are frustrated over what they say is a slow response for help from the federal government and the state.

“Government should have stepped in then, these people are not equipped to deal with this clearly,” Gray said.

“It’s got to the be CDC they should have had some kind of plan,” Shawn Walsh said.

Walsh says he is still waiting for his mom to be tested for the virus.

“You can see her through a window but you can’t hold her hand, you can’t walk around with her,” Walsh said.

Over the last 3 years, he’s come to Life Care about six days a week.

“I usually go in and feed her,” Walsh said.

Because he wanted to make sure she was at least getting one good meal.

“It’s excruciating, being able to go to the window was a huge relief,” Walsh said.

Family members say there has been a lot of confusion and delay over testing.

On Friday, King County Executive Dow Constantine promised to make testing a priority for the residents.

He also said that 69 residents remained at the facility as of Friday morning with 15 more residents rushed to the hospital recently.

There have been multiple deaths linked to the facility already.

More help will arrive on Saturday.

A 30-member team with the US Public Health Service will come to Life Care to treat patients. They include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants.

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