Huntersville Oaks residents forced to leave to make room for those infected with COVID-19

Nursing home asks residents to move out

Many residents at one local nursing home are being told to move out as the facility makes room for those infected with COVID-19.

The Huntersville Oaks nursing home is being cleared out to treat only residents with coronavirus.

Many residents are furious that in the middle of a pandemic, they are being told to find a new facility.

Wendy Clark is one of several with a loved one at the Huntersville Oaks nursing home.

She says her 78-year-old father has dementia and has been living at the center.

Luckily, so far, he has no signs of the virus.

Clark doesn’t understand why her dad is being forced to move in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic to bring in positive COVID-19 patients.

“It seems like it’s backwards, instead of taking the patients out of the nursing home and finding them a place to be, they’re taking the ones that are negative out of there,” said Clark.

Clark says, two weeks ago, the nursing center called and said they were closing the facility down to create space for positive COVID-19 patients.

“They called and told me that I needed to find a place for him to be, okay, and I said, ‘Do you have any place for him to go?’ and they said they were looking at the time but they wanted me to look as well," Clark said.

Days later, Clark was then told by the center that her dad could stay. But then on Friday, still another call from the center indicated her father would be moved if she didn’t find him another place.

“They said that they’re turning Huntersville Oaks into a coronavirus place," CLark said.

Numerous others left comments off camera asking WBTV Investigates to get some answers.

We contacted Huntersville Oaks, which is owned by Atrium Health.

In a statement, Atrium Health said:

“As we said last week, we are strategically housing skilled nursing facility patients who have the virus under one roof. What you’re referencing is part of that plan. We’re in the process of relocating residents out of the remaining buildings to make space for COVID-19 patients who need this level of care. Unlike many nursing facilities, Huntersville Oaks has advanced medical capabilities. It is one of just a few skilled nursing facilities in the state capable of caring for patients with coronavirus. So this is a plan that will save lives. We are doing all we can to keep the virus from spreading among vulnerable populations by isolating those who have it and providing the care needed to help those patients recover.”

Clark was told her dad would be transferred to a nursing home in Shelby if she didn’t find him a place to go.

She understands that coronavirus patients need to be treated, but her dad’s health is also not good.

She doesn’t understand why he and many others, after six years, now have to suddenly start packing and looking for a new nursing home.

“This is the only home since he had a stroke, broke his hip and got dementia, this is his home," she said.

This move comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase at nursing homes and other group living facilities across the state.

If you have a tip about something we should look into at one of these homes, call our tip line at 704-375-3511 or email investigates@wbtv.com.