BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — State health officials stated as of April 30 there have been 16 residents and 35 staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Kingston Healthcare Center located in Southwest Bakersfield.
The Kern County Department of Public Health said on Friday Kingston requested immediate help with staffing shortages. By Saturday night 35 healthcare professionals throughout the state were sent to assist the facility, and those staff members will remain in place until Kingston can reliably provide adequate staffing.
In a statement sent to 23ABC the nursing home says they are currently working with health officials to manage confirmed cases. In part the statement also said the, “California Department of Public Health is on-site daily at the center and working together with center staff to ensure infection control process are being followed and assisting with some staffing needs.”
The facility also said they’ve increased their housekeeping services and currently have appropriate personal protective equipment for staff.
Attorney Matthew Clark said families with loved ones in the Kingston facility have reached out to his law firm about the quality of care since the COVID pandemic. He says over the last three years his firm has had around a half does cases against the facility.
"... Any case we’ve had against Kingston or any other elder care facility for that matter, it almost results from inadequate staffing. It's an inadequate amount of staffing that leads to poor patient care. Poor patient care leads to poor patient outcomes. Poor patient outcomes especially in the elder care world often times leads to death,” said Clark.
23ABC reported back on April 24 that documents showed the California Department of Public Health cited the Kingston Health Care Facility more than 14 separate times since 2015. Just within the last six months they were also cited with a Double-A citation, which is considered one of the most serious violations.
Clark said the best way for people to review nursing homes is my going to Medicare.gov. On the website users can look up any skilled nursing facility and check their ratings and staffing ratios.
However, when 23ABC checked Kingston's profile their ratings had been removed, and their facility was listed as a Special Focus Facility. According to the site this means the nursing home has had a history of persistent poor quality of care.