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COVID-19 Infected Health Worker Charged After Infecting 80-Year-Old Patient Who Later Died

CAMDEN, NJ – A home health aide who was entrusted to care for an 80-year-old COVID-19 patient who later died. She is also suspected of infecting the patient’s family.

Josefina Brito-Hernandez, 49, of Camden, N.J., was charged on May 14 with five counts of endangering the welfare of another (3rd degree and 4th degree). Brito was a home health aide who cared for an 80-year-old Camden city resident.

On April 16, Brito was not feeling well and went to the Camden COVID-19 testing sight for testing. She allegedly did not disclose this fact to the elderly person for whom she cared, or the patient’s family.

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Once she was tested, Brito-Hernandez was told to self-isolate — even before her results came back — because she had been in contact with someone who was suspected to be positive for COVID-19 (and who ultimately was found to be positive).

Notwithstanding the direction she received to self-isolate, Brito-Hernandez went to work on April 17 as usual and did not wear a face mask or any other personal protective equipment.(Her employer mandated that PPE be worn at all times.) Brito allegedly can be seen on in-home video caring for her elderly patient by feeding her, giving her a sponge bath and taking her vital signs – all while not wearing PPE.

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Brito also cared for two developmentally disabled siblings in the household, also without wearing PPE. The elderly patient and four other members of the household subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.The elderly patient was subsequently hospitalized and passed away several days later.

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