California names nursing homes with COVID-19 infections and over half are in LA County

The California Department Department of Public Health released the names of 258 skilled nursing facilities that have confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff.
An overwhelming amount of Los Angeles County-based skilled nursing facilities are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in California, according to data released by state health officials on Friday.

For the first time, the California Department of Public Health released the names of the facilities who have been impacted. According to the data, 258 locations across the state have reported one or more positive COVID-19 cases in residents or staff members.

Officials said the list is a snapshot representing 86% of the state's 1,224 skilled nursing facilities that have reported data within the last 24 hours.

More than half of the facilities, 148, are located in Los Angeles County. One of the worst outbreaks is at the Brier Oak on Sunset facility, which reported that 80 residents and 62 staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Country Villa South Convalescent Center in Palms had 58 residents and 15 staff members test positive.

The new data drew a quick response from union leaders, who called it a "clarion call to action for all of us."

"This deadly pandemic is targeting our most vulnerable elders. Those charged with caring for them -- low wage workers, almost always women -- are walking into infection zones without the most basic of protections," said April Verrett, president of Service Employees International Union Local 2015, in a statement.

Verrett also called for "immediate testing" of everybody in those facilities as well as daily reporting on infection rates from all skilled nursing homes in California.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, said Friday that 20 nursing homes or care facilities in the county have had outbreaks of 20 or more people testing positive.

"We are especially concerned about the overwhelming number of residents residing in our nursing homes who have passed away. I have requested additional support from our state and federal partners so we can work together to ensure that our nursing homes are as safe as possible for residents and employees. This includes asking for supplementary staffing and PPE, increased ability to test residents and employees, and improvements in infection control capacity at nursing homes," Ferrer said in a statement.

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