Nearly all of Kern’s skilled nursing facilities have reported COVID-19 cases among residents and health care workers, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Of the 19 facilities in Kern on the State’s spreadsheet, just one — Bella Sera Skilled Nursing Facility in Ridgecrest — has reported zero cases among its residents and health care workers, as of Sunday.
However, the state is reporting cases in all other facilities. On Sunday alone, the state reported more than 55 new cases among skilled nursing residents in Kern.
Cumulatively, the Kingston Healthcare Center in Bakersfield has reported 104 COVID-19 cases and 19 COVID-19 deaths among its residents and 58 cases among its healthcare workers. Golden Living Center in Shafter has reported 54 COVID-19 cases and more than 11 COVID-19 related deaths among its residents and 27 cases among its workers. And the Rehabilitation Center in Bakersfield has reported more than 140 cases among its residents and workers combined and more than 22 COVID-19 deaths among its residents and workers combined.
“The county, along with the California Department of Public Health, is conducting daily conference calls with ten facilities to maintain current situational updates and facility status,” said Megan Person, the Chief Communications Officer for Kern County.
Along with onsite visits to the nursing facilities, state-approved COVID mitigation plans have been provided to each facility, according to Person.
“These mitigation plans include each facility’s plan for infection control, staffing, and testing during the COVID pandemic,” Person said. “The County and CDPH are performing joint on-site reviews of the State’s approved mitigation plans.”
Nursing facilities that have had a high number of COVID-19 cases have evaluated and updated their PPE training, hand hygiene regimen, and other preventive infection measures. COVID serial testing protocols have also been required in each facility for all residents and staff.
The California Department of Public Health began gathering data on Jan. 1, 2020 and has found in Kern County alone, nearly 385 skilled nursing facility residents and 349 health care workers have tested positive, as of Aug. 6, and less than 100 residents and HCW have tested positive in a 7 week span, according to CDPH.
Kern County isn’t alone. According to CDPH, 94 percent of California’s skilled nursing facilities have reported cases. This means roughly 1,149 skilled nursing facilities in California have reported cases. Sunday alone, 2,822 skilled nursing facility residents in California tested positive, bringing the total to 20,690 cases. There have been 3,507 residents who have died of COVID-19, according to CDPH.
The State also reported a total of 15,186 health care workers who tested positive and 129 health care workers who died of the virus.
Although all ages are at risk of COVID-19, the elderly are the most vulnerable population during this pandemic. Eight out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding SNF residents, staff, or families of residents/staff, you may reach the county by contacting them at 661-868-0555 or PHcares@kerncounty.com.