Preventing COVID-19 at skilled nursing homes in Kern County

Rosewood Skilled Nursing Facility
Posted at 5:07 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 21:24:47-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — With the continued concerns over COVID-19 cases at local skilled nursing facilities, Kern County Public Health officials recently gave an update on cases at those facilities, saying that of the 19 facilities that we have 14 are reporting positive cases of COVID-19.

But what about the five facilities that have not had any reported cases? On Friday 23ABC spoke with officials from one of those facilities, Rosewood located in Southwest Bakersfield, and had them explain what they have been doing that so far has protected their staff and residents from the virus.

"So, we have stopped all non-essential visitors, group dining, group activities, really right away when the outbreak started. One of the things we have been focused on, is screening all team members and essential visitors every time they come on campus," explained Rosewood Executive Director Rochelle Balaban. "We are going through all the COVID symptoms, taking temperatures, making sure everyone is wearing a face mask and if they have any symptoms then they are not allowed to come on."

Rosewood officials also said they have been limiting physical and in-person contact by utilizing technology for family visits for their residents. Which means they have only been allowing things like Facetime, Zoom or Skype chats.

Meanwhile, the state is reporting that 31 Kern County deaths are from the other 14 skilled nursing facilities who have had cases. Kingston, Valley Convalescent, Orchards, Rehabilitation Centers of Bakersfield, and Windsor Post-Acute Center are the facilities that are seeing more cases.

Public health said the county and state are doing joint visits to the sites where cases have been on the rise. They made it clear though they are not visiting every single facility every day. They do talk to the ones with confirmed cases, either in staff, residents, or both, daily. And they have visited every single facility at least once, and in person.

Public Health also mentioned that most of the staff that works in nursing facilities within Kern County only work at one facility. However, there are a select few that work at multiple facilities. They said all skilled nursing facilities are required to implement mitigation plans to prevent and/or control the transmission of COVID-19.

You can visit the California Department of Public Health website to see the state's COVID-19 Mitigation Plan Recommendations for Testing of Health Care Personnel (HCP) and Residents at Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)