A California nursing home where about three dozen residents are infected with COVID-19 has been evacuated after only one staff member came back to care for them.
Eighty-four patients were transferred from the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside, east of Los Angeles, on Wednesday. The evacuation was decided after only one of the 13 certified nursing assistants at the facility showed up for work for two consecutive days.
In this nursing home, five employees and 34 residents at the 90-bed facility have become infected with the coronavirus. Reports said there are no pending test results for the 90-bed facility.
According to reports, the residents of the nursing home are now being sent to other facilities that will need to follow virus containment measures. Public health officials said those residents who are not infected are being transferred first, together with their personal belongings.
On the other hand, if the patients are well enough they may potentially be sent home instead of being transferred to another place.
Riverside County public health officials reported they don’t know why the employees didn’t report for work.
Because of this, health officials were forced to send in more than 30 nurses to assist with the evacuations after the facility’s employees didn’t show up.
As of today, no one at the facility could be reached for a statement or an explanation.
As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases grows in California, skilled nursing facilities are a specific concern because of the age and health condition of residents and their living very close to each other.
Outbreaks have been reported in facilities throughout the state and some residents have died.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer suggested on Tuesday that there may be instances where residents who are hunkered down under stay-at-home orders might bring their loved ones home to care for them.
She said federal and state officials had issued similar guidance.
“There are families who in fact have those resources and are able to go ahead and make that offer,”
“But I also know there are many families who are faced with the horrible reality that they cannot effectively care for a person in their home either.”
On the other hand, at a facility in San Francisco, about 50 people have been infected and one person had already died.
An outbreak at a skilled nursing facility in San Bernardino County infected more than 50 people and killed five.
April Verrett, president of Service Employees International Union Local 2015, emphasized her union doesn’t represent staff at the Riverside Center and only represents about a quarter of the nursing facility workers in the state.
She reported that people are afraid about protection and they want to be adequately trained to care for virus patients.
“Of course they want to make sure their work environment is safe and all precautions are being taken for themselves and their families.”
“But our folks are going to work.”