The California Department of Public Health released the number of COVID-19 cases at the state’s skilled nursing facilities for the first time Saturday — and several Bay Area locations were prominent on the list.
Gateway Care & Rehabilitation in Hayward topped the region, with 102 cases (69 patients, 33 staff members). Thirteen residents at Gateway have died, sparking an investigation by the Alameda County district attorney’s office.
Among the other hardest-hit Bay Area facilities, according to the state report: Canyon Springs Post-Acute Care in San Jose, with 64 cases (39 patients, 25 staff); Valley House Rehabilitation Center in Santa Clara, with 63 cases (42 patients, 21 staff); and Central Gardens Convalescent, an assisted-living facility in San Francisco, with 62 cases (36 patients, 26 staff).
Other Bay Area locations on the list included Orinda Care Center, with 58 cases (30 patients, 28 staff); Cedar Crest Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Sunnyvale, with 57 cases (38 patients, 19 staff); and East Bay Post-Acute Healthcare Center in Castro Valley, with 48 cases (25 patients, 23 staff).
Brier Oak on Sunset, a long-term care facility in Los Angeles, had the most cases in the state at 142.
“The data on the persistent, growing and deadly outbreak of COVID-19 in California nursing homes is a clarion call to action for all of us,” said April Verrett, president of SEIU Local 2015, the union representing more than 400,000 long term care workers. “This deadly pandemic is targeting our most vulnerable elders. Those charged with caring for them — low wage workers, almost always women — are walking into infection zones without the most basic of protections.
“Immediate testing of all residents and staff must be required, as well as 100% daily reporting on infection rates from all skilled nursing facilities in the state. Raincoats and rags turned into isolation gowns and face masks are not adequate stand-ins for medical grade PPE, or a serious testing regimen.
“As a state, and as a nation, we must rapidly escalate our coordination, manufacturing and distribution of PPE to ensure price gouging and bidding wars don’t delay critical needs on the frontline of the fight against the virus. We implore our leaders in Washington to stop bickering and start coordinating with the urgency the moment demands. That means releasing more funds for states like ours, which are grappling with (a) major outbreak, and doing a better job coordinating a national testing regimen like other developed nations throughout the world.”
Saturday’s health department report included more than 3,000 confirmed cases in all, based on data submitted in a 24-hour period (with 86% of facilities participating). There are 1,224 skilled nursing facilities in California, according to the CDPH, and 261 reported one or more COVID-19 cases as of Friday.