Coronavirus: Riverside facility still operating after dozens of patients, staff members test positive for COVID-19

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- While the Magnolia Rehab and Nursing Center made headlines Wednesday for the more than 80 patients who had to evacuate because so many employees didn't show up for work, the facility next door, Extended Care Hospital of Riverside, is still up and running despite 28 patients and 26 staff members who've tested positive for coronavirus.

"Spirits are high, that's the most important thing, we're getting through this," said Laurie Cardiel with Extended Care Hospital.

But these aren't the only nursing homes where COVID-19 is spreading -- far from it.

Riverside County Public Health is awaiting confirmation on a handful of presumed positives at Manor Care in Hemet.

"We do know a number of nursing homes have had positive cases. We'll investigate those where we can, but eventually at some point there are going to be so many involved, it's going to be impossible to do the kind of investigations we want to, because there's just won't be enough testing capacity," said Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser.

In fact, Dr. Kaiser says family members should consider whether they might want to take a loved one out of a nursing facility.

"I think that's something that needs to be considered. Again, this needs to be broadened with the entire scope of what kind of care they need. Some people require an awful lot of care, more than can be handled at home, and it may well be that is the best place for them and try to ride out the storm, but they need to be asking those questions because the one who is going to have family members best needs at heart is you."

County health officials announced earlier Thursday that an old Sears building in Riverside will be the next location for a federal medical station. About 125 beds will be set up there and should help with the next surge in COVID-19 patients.
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