California acknowledges more than 850 coronavirus cases in assisted-living facilities
More than 850 residents and staff in assisted-living facilities in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data released late Monday by the state social services agency.
Among the most severe outbreaks were at Chateau III in Contra Costa County, which has 52 residents and staff with confirmed cases, and Silverado Beverly Place in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles, with 50 residents and staff testing positive for the virus.
This marks the first time that state officials have released data on outbreaks in assisted-living facilities — a broad category of congregate living homes for mostly elderly residents. With aging and frail residents in close quarters, assisted-living homes are particularly vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus.
Nursing homes, which have residents with more advanced medical needs, have been a locus of outbreaks in the state, with more than 3,500 residents or staff testing positive.
The choice to release data on assisted-living facilities came after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed that government was failing to release information about outbreaks, leaving families and communities in the dark about the true scope of the pandemic’s toll.
Still, the newly available data are limited. Officials only provided figures for facilities with seven or more residents, citing privacy concerns. And the state only specified the precise number of cases for a facility when it exceeded 11.
Nursing homes have become a tragic focal point of the coronavirus crisis, accounting for a large percentage of COVID-19 deaths.
About half of the assisted-living facility outbreaks listed in the data were clustered in Los Angeles County. Belmont Village in Hollywood has 21 residents and 17 staff testing positive; Jasmin Terrace in Pasadena has 23 residents and 16 staff with the coronavirus; and the Kensington Redondo Beach has 23 residents and 19 staff testing positive.
The state did not release data on the number of residents or staff at any facilities who died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
But at least six residents at the Kensington have died, according to an April 15 letter from Robert May, the facility’s executive director. In his letter, he said that many residents have complicated medical ailments and that for those who died, “it has not been determined whether they passed away from comorbidities, the virus, or a combination.”
The most severe outbreak in L.A. County has been at the Silverado Beverly Place, a relatively posh home near CBS Television City and the Grove. Twenty-eight residents and 22 staff have the virus, an explosive growth from a few weeks ago, when a handful of residents and staff members had tested positive. The outbreak drew the ire of residents’ families, who criticized administrators for allowing a new resident to move in and apparently bring the virus.
“This was about money. ... If they were thinking about our parents, none of this would have happened,” an adult daughter of one resident told The Times last month. In a statement released at the time, a spokesman for the facility’s parent company said the new resident did not show symptoms at the time of his admission.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our residents and the associates who care for them each day, and we’re proud of our team’s dedication and professionalism during this pandemic,” said Jeff Frum, spokesman for Irvine-based Silverado, a privately held firm.
Last month, the state Department of Social Services received a complaint about Silverado administrators blocking visitors and not properly isolating an ill resident. A state licensing analyst interviewed the facility administrator by phone and spoke with residents and staff, and the analyst ultimately determined the complaint was unsubstantiated.
As of Monday, 86% of 1,224 skilled nursing facilities in California had reported their coronavirus-related data within the last 24 hours. Of that number, 258 have reported having one or more coronavirus cases involving either a resident or a healthcare worker as of Friday, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Thus far, 1,290 staff members at skilled nursing facilities across California have tested positive, along with 1,740 patients, according to the state’s data. Previously, Newsom had said more than 3,500 people who live or work in one of California’s nursing homes have the coronavirus.
More than 30% of those who have died in L.A. County were residents of long-term care facilities; more than 70% of the deaths in Long Beach have been nursing home residents.
Another Times analysis found that most skilled nursing facilities that have seen coronavirus outbreaks in Los Angeles County have been cited in recent years for violating federal safety rules on preventing infections.
Times staff writers Jack Dolan and Brittny Mejia contributed to this report.
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