NewsLocal News


Kingston Healthcare Center closes down after COVID-19 violations

“That’s their home, that’s where they live."
Posted at 10:54 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 13:31:35-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — 23ABC has confirmed that Kingston Healthcare Center will be closing down after losing its provider agreement with the Centers for Medical and Medicaid services. This follows citations from the Cal/OSHA regarding alleged COVID-19 violations.

Cheryl Driscoll, a local resident there, received a letter notifying those who live at Kingston that they’ll will be shutting down. But as the facility eases them into the relocation process, her husband Michael worries about where she'll go next.

“That’s their home, that’s where they live, they all know each other. Where will they go? Where will my wife go? I mean are they going to run out of places, and put her in Delano or somewhere where I can’t visit her?”

It’s been an emotional couple of days for Michael Driscoll.

His wife Cheryl is one of the 109 people currently staying at Kingston Healthcare Center. According to a letter they gave residents, it’s closing down.

“Just thinking about my wife, and families coming and loved ones coming and getting their family, I really have been fighting back tears all day,” said Driscoll.

Driscoll’s wife was hospitalized for COVID-19 back in 2020. She got it again a couple of weeks ago while staying at the facility the last two years.

Cal/OSHA conducted multiple inspections of the facility in from June to October 2020.

A document detailed five citations for alleged violations with proposed penalties totaling tens of thousands of dollars.

Those alleged violations including, not letting employees at the facility know about COVID-19 cases or suspected cases, not providing N95S to certified nursing assistant working in COVID-19 patient rooms, and not establishing procedures to protect people delivering food to rooms with people with COVID-19.

According to Ryan Alsop, the Chief Administrative Officer of Kern County, back in May 2020, the center had 86 positive cases and seven deaths.

Despite its past, Driscoll thinks Kingston deserves another chance.

“I’m there most of the day with my wife and I’ve seen the administrator just running all over the place, all day just making sure to take care of everybody’s problems and just so kind to people. It’s hard to find an angel.”

Driscoll said things have changed since Medi-Cal did a check-up on the facility about three months ago. He said the CMA rated the facility a four out of ten and then replaced them with new administration.

He saw the changes in their attitude in caring for people and how they handled the recent COVID outbreak better in isolating patients and suspending visitors.

“I’m going to see if I can get some help from President Biden. I think he might be able to help in this situation. I think some oversight is what we need. we're all trying to do a good job, getting through this pandemic, but I don't think this is the way to do it, to displace all these people. I just don't."

According to the letter we obtained, the facility is hosted a meeting with families tonight and will have another to discuss in detail why this is happening and where to go from here.

Every day they’ll also have professionals helping them with this process, including a personalized nursing assessment to help them decide where they’re going next.

We reached out to the healthcare facility, but they declined to comment.