PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Data released by the Centers for Disease Control show more than 1,000 coronavirus cases at Arizona nursing homes. But the problem appears much worse when you add other types of assisted-living facilities.
Nursing homes account for 1,103 cases and 471 deaths, according to the CDC. The state of Arizona does not release details about COVID-19 cases in assisted-living facilities, aside from reporting that 449 facilities across the state have had cases.
Public health experts warn it is time to take action, but Arizona's governor appears unwilling to move.
But Maricopa County released data that indicates 2,496 people have been infected in assisted-living facilities, which include nursing homes, group homes and other group settings.
Those cases resulted in 359 deaths of staff and patients.
"We didn't know how bad it was in Phoenix," said Maureen Dollente, whose mother, Alice Becker died of coronavirus after contracting it in a nursing home in April.
"For someone who was 91, she was pretty clear-headed and very active," said Dollente.
The letter comes as our state sees a recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
But Dollente believes the state of Arizona's lack of transparency with regard to COVID-19 infections and its assisted-living facilities proved fatal for her mother.
"We could have made a decision earlier as a family to bring our mom home and she'd still be alive today, and enjoying the flowers in northern California, and going on walks with us," said Dollente.
CBS 5 News and 3 TV joined a coalition of other Arizona media in a lawsuit against the state of Arizona, demanding that the Department of Health Services release more information about the locations of coronavirus infections and deaths in assisted-living facilities. Last month, a judge sided with the state.