TULARE COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – Tulare County leads the Central Valley in COVID-19 cases. On Monday, the Health and Human Services Agency reported a total of 532 cases with 32 deaths.
Around half of the cases originated from skilled nursing facilities. This week, a third facility in Tulare County reported an outbreak in progress.
At Linwood Meadows Care Center in Visalia, health officials say ten people have tested positive for COVID-19. The facility is owned by the Plum Corporation – which also owns the Redwood Springs Healthcare Center which is home to the largest known coronavirus outbreak in the Central Valley.
“I don’t want to get that call that says, we are heading to the hospital because she is having trouble breathing,” said Susan Renteria.
Susan’s 83-year-old mother Wanda has lived at the Linwood Meadows Care Center for four years. Susan says her mom is bedridden and high risk.
“If she is laying there and she gets something and all the sudden her temperature spikes I don’t know how long it takes for it to get bad,” said Renteria.
Tulare County’s skilled nursing facilities have been hit hard by COVID-19. Three different facilities have outbreaks. The largest is at Redwood Springs where 23 people have died in addition to the 114 residents, 60 staff, and eight family members who have tested positive. Lindsay Gardens, in Lindsay, has 38 residents infected.
Two of the facilities are in Tulare County Supervisor Kuyler Crocker’s district. He has called for an investigation into Plum Organization for their handling of the outbreaks. He says Lindsay Gardens management has worked closely with the county throughout the outbreak.
“I think all of the Plum Group sites in California need to be investigated because we need to determine whether or not there’s a culture of neglect and a culture of not utilizing proper protocols and procedures with the healthcare facility,” said Crocker.
The Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency says they have recommended all residents be tested at Linwood Meadows. The facility has chosen to test in waves and prioritizing those most at-risk.