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A nursing home in California is now under investigation after at least 13 people died from coronavirus there and dozens were sickened.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday it opened a probe into the Gateway Rehabilitation and Care Center in Hayward, Calif., where 67 people contracted COVID-19, one of several facilities getting “specific attention.”
“It’s complicated because a lot of people in (long-term care facilities) are already in vulnerable health, but it doesn’t mean we are not looking and being thorough in how we are conducting the investigation,” District Attorney Nancy O’Malley told the Bay Area News Group.
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Nursing homes have emerged as a focus of heightened concern as coronavirus cases spike amid a global pandemic. In the beginning of April, a facility in Yucaipa in San Bernardino County had more than 50 residents infected with the coronavirus.
An ambulance leaves the Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday. At least 13 patients at the facility have died of coronavirus, and 41 others have been infected.
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Another facility in the southern part of the state had at least 30 residents and staff sickened.
About 1.4 million patients are cared for in nursing homes across the U.S., including severely disabled people. As the virus has spread, nursing homes around the country have cut off visitors and taken steps to isolate residents from one another by ending common activities and serving meals in individual rooms.
Of the 67 people sickened at the facility in Hayward, 41 are patients and 26 are staff members.
EMT’s move a stretcher at the Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday, in Hayward, Calif. At least 13 patients at the facility have died of coronavirus, and 41 others have been infected.
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Relatives of some victims who died at Gateway Care & Rehabilitation Center and staff members previously told KTVU that for a time, no one was wearing protective masks at the facility.
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“We are deeply concerned about the situation at Gateway. We are working with the state and hospital provider partners to target interventions,” Alameda County Public Health spokeswoman Neetu Balram told Bay City News.
A spokesperson for the Gateway Care & Rehabilitation Center declined to comment to local media.
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As of Wednesday, there were 27,098 cases of COVID-19 in California with at least 890 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.