Sick employee at Yucaipa nursing home claims she's been pressured to return to work

YUCAIPA, Calif. (KABC) -- An activities assistant at a nursing home in Yucaipa said she was being pressured to return to work even though she recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is in self-isolation at home.

"I'm going through so much," said Tatianna Dancy. "I'm just overwhelmed with anxiety with everything that's going on."

Seventy-five patients and staff members at Cedar Mountain Post-Acute Rehabilitation in Yucaipa have tested positive for COVID-19, and five have died.

Dancy said she did not come to work last Monday, March 30 because she had flu-like symptoms. But she received a call from one of her supervisors asking for an explanation.

"He asked me to come in and do laundry, but never once did he ask me if I get tested," said Dancy. "I then told him, excuse me, the residents tested positive for COVID-19, so I told him no I'm not coming in to do laundry, are you kidding me?

"I then got another call from payroll saying if I don't come in, I'm abandoning my job."

Dancy said her employer would not test her for coronavirus, so she called the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. She was tested later that week, and claims her results came back positive.

"I'm quarantined away from my kids who I can't cook for," said Dancy. "And I have to home-school them. It's horrible."

Although Dancy says she's not received any termination papers, she assumes she's been fired.

"I have no job, I have no income, I have nothing right now, they said if I file for unemployment (compensation) they're going to fight it."

Cedar Mountain spokesperson Elizabeth Tyler said no employees have been terminated for being sick. Tyler said any employee reporting COVID-19 symptoms has been referred to the workers compensation system, and those requiring self-isolation are not working.

"Cedar Mountain appreciates the efforts and dedication of its workforce in providing care to is residents throughout this COVID-19 outbreak," said Tyler. "Cedar Mountain is working closely with County and State health agencies to ensure it is implementing all applicable guidelines including those of the CDC regarding employees working in the facility."

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health announced the formation of a Nursing Facilities Task Force aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 among the county's most vulnerable residents.
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