BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — 72-year-old Cheryl Driscoll has been a resident at the Kingston Healthcare Center for the past six months, according to her husband Michael Driscoll.
Driscoll says, since they have been married they've never been apart, even when she was admitted to the facility.
Out of an abundance of caution, Driscoll would spend hours with her at the center.
"I was there for six months I never left, seven days a week and ten hours a day," Driscoll said. "[There have been] medication issues over medicating, I addressed those issues. [I] had social work get upset with me."
Driscoll says these were some of the many disturbing practices of the facility he witnessed.
As the COVID-19 outbreak began, he worried that his wife would contract the virus.
He shares that his wife has several underlying health conditions.
Driscoll shares he grew more concerned after he saw staff becoming ill.
"Well in the first part of February the nurses were running 103 temperatures themselves and staying at work," Driscoll said. "Some of them were there for two weeks coughing all day long. I would ask them don’t you think you should go rest."
Driscoll sadly shares his wife Cheryl was diagnosed with COVID-19 just two days ago.
She is currently being treated at Memorial Hospital and is one of the five people hospitalized from the facility.
"They told me she tested positive for COVID-19 and it was a shock," Driscoll said. "I knew she hadn’t been feeling well for four-to-five days and coughing."
Ryan Alsop, the County Administrative Officer, tweeted out that as of Thursday Kingston Healthcare Center accounts for 86 positive cases in Kern County.
This also includes five hospitalizations and seven deaths at the center.
The number of deaths making up nearly half the number of total deaths in the county.
"I had a feeling that the nursing homes were going to become under attack here," Driscoll said. "To think that so much death has come out of one nursing home in our county is unbelievable."
Michael says he understands the concern for not allowing visitors to see their loved ones in these facilities but doesn’t agree and proposes this solution.
"It's a hard call to make, but I think that the door should be open to visitors though," Driscoll said. "If they aren’t positive or have a fever then they should be allowed to go in."
He says his wife is stable for now, but the next few days will play a large role in her recovery.
"Nursing homes aren’t taking people who are COVID positive or at least with a fever," Driscoll said. "I am not sure if that’s even a good place to go back to. A lot of people would be afraid to do that, with so many deaths happening in one facility."