Staff at South Side facility says management lied about coworkers’ death

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CHICAGO — Employees at a South Side facility where two staff members died due to COVID-19 said they were not told about the deaths and learned about them from WGN News.

Tuesday, WGN News reported two employees of Bria at Forest Edge died from the virus.

Bria at Forest Edge is a nursing and assisted living center that also includes “an infectious disease program … for people in need of recovery assistance with infections and related diseases.” 

In a statement to WGN the CEO called the victims “heroes who would be memorialized at a later date but condolences and sympathy go out to their families.”

Jackie Ford is a receptionist at Bria at Forest Edge. She is also a union steward for SEIU, the Service Employees International Union which represents 13,000 nursing and group home workers.

She said staff learned of their coworkers death on the WGN News.

“It was confirmed through the news yesterday,” she said. “Everybody was terrified they weren’t coming back. They don’t know why. Management lied and said it was something else.”

Wednesday union leaders, Ford and other employees protested the lack of information from management and an environment that lagged behind CDC standards for weeks.

WGN News reached out to the CEO of Bria by email and received an out of office response.

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