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14 residents at Tempe senior living facility die due to COVID-19, text to families says

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Westchester Senior Living
Posted at 6:28 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 23:22:12-04

TEMPE, AZ — A Tempe senior living community is the latest long-term care facility in our state to be hit with a deadly outbreak of COVID-19, according to correspondence sent to residents' families.

A woman with a family member inside Westchester Senior Living Center says she received a text alert sent Wednesday from the facility's director saying that 14 patients have died due to the virus. Another 40 residents have reportedly tested positive, though no further details were given about their conditions.

An alert sent Monday to families said 25 staffers have also tested positive. Westchester had initially reported 12 deaths as of Monday.

The facility reportedly saw its first onset of COVID-19 cases during the week of April 13.

In the Monday text alert, the director said they "remain in frequent contact with the county health department and are following all health department and CDC guidelines to keep our staff and residents as safe as possible."

In a previous statement to ABC15 in April, Westchester's parent company, Volunteers of America, said, "...we are notifying designated family members/caretakers as required by the state...We have been notified that a number of residents and employees at Westchester Senior Living have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Our hearts go out to them and their families during this difficult time. The health and safety of our residents, employees and community is our top priority..."

Westchester is the fourth Valley care facility with known cases of COVID-19, joining two in Chandler and one in Glendale.

RELATED: Caregivers working at multiple long-term care facilities may contribute to spread of COVID-19

State health officials said this week they are increasing testing at 147 long-term care facilities across Arizona to help meet federal goals.

The White House on Monday recommended that all nursing home residents and staff be tested for the coronavirus in the next two weeks.