As coronavirus case numbers rise around the state, fears are increasing for vulnerable residents of skilled nursing facilities.
At least 15 people have died at an East Bay nursing home after contracting COVID-19. That’s according to state health data, which shows 14 residents and at least one staff member at San Miguel Villa in Concord have passed away.
Overall, 62 residents and 13 workers have been infected.
The California Department of Public Health released a statement to KCBS Radio late Wednesday: "The California Department of Public Health has sent a strike team of healthcare-associated infection prevention specialists to San Miguel Villa, working in partnership with the local health department and federal partners to help mitigate any further infections and assess for potential exposures. This strike team and local health department are heavily involved in the ongoing situation at San Miguel Villa. We are doing needs assessment for the facility and are working together to manage the outbreak."
The facility has not returned calls for comment from KCBS Radio.
Across the state, there have been more than 2,300 coronavirus-related deaths among nursing home residents.
"This has been mandated by the state, but many nursing homes have been dragging their feet on it and the lack of testing means that you can have staff that are spreading the virus without knowing it," UCSF Nursing Professor Charlene Harrington said.
Some staff, especially lower-income nursing assistants, work at multiple facilities.
"They tend to have to work more than one job and they may go to work sick because they have families to support and they can’t afford to be off of work,"UCSF Nursing Professor Charlene Harrington told KCBS Radio.
More than 7,700 nursing home workers have tested positive in California.