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California

Coronavirus outbreak at Orange County nursing home kills two patients, sickens 72

A coronavirus outbreak at Huntington Valley Healthcare Center has sickened dozens of residents and staff.
(Los Angeles Times)

Two patients at an Orange County nursing home died this week from COVID-19 as a coronavirus outbreak at the facility has sickened half its residents and several staff members.

Thus far, 48 other patients and 24 healthcare staff members at Huntington Valley Healthcare Center, 8382 Newman Ave. in Huntington Beach, have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a news release from the company.

Of the 48 sickened patients, 14 are in hospitals, but their status, including whether they were in ICU, was unknown by the company Tuesday evening, according to Huntington Valley officials.

One of the patients, a 77-year-old man, died Monday night at a hospital, and the other patient, a 79-year-old man, died at the facility Tuesday. Company officials did not have information available Tuesday evening on whether the two patients had preexisting conditions.

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It is one of many outbreaks in recent days at nursing homes across California. More than 30% of those who have died in Los Angeles County were residents of long-term care facilities; more than 70% of the deaths in Long Beach have been nursing home residents.

On March 11, the facility restricted access to its building to only essential medical personnel, has been screening its staff and medically essential visitors, and curtailing communal activities, according to the company.

About 10 days ago, at the onset of the outbreak, Huntington Valley created a COVID-19 isolation unit, and any staff members working in that unit were given N95 masks and other personal protective equipment, according to the company. All other staff were given standard surgical masks, gloves and other PPE, according to the company.

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Huntington Valley has about 100 residents — meaning half have tested positive for the coronavirus — and about 100 staff members, according to the company.

The employees who tested positive are self-isolating with minor symptoms, according to the company.

The staff members who worked alongside their colleagues who tested positive are continuing to go to work as long as they don’t have symptoms and haven’t tested positive themselves. A company representative said they did not have information on whether the county, which they said oversees testing, had tested the staff members who worked with the employees who tested positive for the coronavirus.

The data were released after an L.A. Times investigation. With older residents in close quarters, the homes are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus.
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The facility, located near Huntington Beach Hospital, describes itself on its website as a “premier 24-hour skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in the city of Huntington Beach. A highly skilled nursing staff, an expert rehabilitation team and a caring administrative staff; combine with luxurious accommodations, entertaining social activities, and state-of-the-art technology to create an environment for comfort and healing.” It charges private-paying clients $350 a day for a semi-private room and $300 for a “3 Bed Room.”

Its skilled nursing facility license is held by Douglas Fir Holdings, based in Carlsbad, and its building is owned by the MLG Trust, according to the California Department of Public Health’s license database.


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