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COVID-19 Spreads at Visalia Nursing Home: 57 Cases, 3 Deaths



Photo of Redwood Springs Healthcare Center in Visalia, California
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The coronavirus continues to spread at the Redwood Springs Healthcare Center in Visalia with at least 57 cases and three deaths, Tulare County public health officials said Thursday afternoon.

On Tuesday, Redwood Springs had 47 positive tests and one death.

We offer our sincere condolences to the friends and families who lost their loved ones due to COVID-19. Tulare County Public Health continues to assist (the) Redwood Springs facility with supplies, resources, and guidance.” — Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County public health officer

The nursing home accounts for about one-third of all the infections in the county.

All of the deceased at Redwood Springs were older than 65 and contracted the virus through person-to-person transmissions.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the friends and families who lost their loved ones due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Karen Haught, the Tulare County public health officer, in a news release. “Tulare County Public Health continues to assist (the) Redwood Springs facility with supplies, resources, and guidance.”

10 Coronavirus Deaths in Tulare County

There have been 10 COVID-19 deaths in Tulare County.

The county said Wednesday that residents must follow these guidelines:

• Stay at home
• Go out only for essential items such as groceries and medical needs/prescriptions
• Limit outings to no more than 2 individuals
• Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently

187 Positive Cases in Tulare County

Through 11:50 a.m. Thursday, 187 people had tested positive in the county. Of those positives, 128 were person-to-person transmissions, 21 involved travelers, and 38 cases were under investigation.

Eleven people had recovered from the coronavirus, and 317 people are under self-quarantine and monitoring by county public health officials.

California Nursing Homes Hit Hard

As the number of coronavirus cases grows in California, nursing homes are a particular concern because of the age and health conditions of residents, and their close living arrangements. Outbreaks have been reported in facilities throughout the state, and dozens of residents have died.

For example, a Riverside nursing home where nearly three dozen residents have the coronavirus was evacuated Wednesday after staff members failed to show up to work. And, six infected residents have died at a nursing home in the Bay Area.

The 83 patients at the Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside were moved to other nursing facilities in the area after many employees failed to report for work for the second day in a row, Riverside County public health officials said. The number of absences wasn’t clear, but only one certified nursing assistant out of 13 scheduled to work showed up.

The evacuation occurred a day after the county was notified that 16 employees and 34 residents at the 90-bed facility had tested positive for the virus, said Brooke Federico, a spokeswoman for the county’s public health agency. The county initially sent nurses to help but was forced to evacuate the center as the shortage persisted.

“Nationwide all of our health care workers are considered heroes, and they rightly are,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public health officer. “But implicit in that heroism is that people stay at their post.”

Six residents at Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hayward have died, Alameda County health officials said Wednesday. They were among 35 residents and 24 staff who tested positive at the facility.

(Associated Press contributed to this story.)

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email