Tulare County reports more cases linked to two nursing facilities

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – Tulare County reported 20 new cases of COVID-19, with 16 of them linked to Redwood Springs Healthcare Center and Lindsay Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility.

Two of those cases are in Redwood Springs, bringing its total to 156 – 106 patients and 50 employees. Ten of the 17 COVID-19 deaths in the county are linked to Redwood Springs.

The county reported its second outbreak in a nursing home at Lindsay Gardens on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Tulare County Health & Human Services Director Agency Tim Lutz said as of Thursday, they had 14 confirmed cases within Lindsay Gardens, 12 patients and 2 employees.

Lutz said they were first made aware of cases on Tuesday. He said those who tested positive are being isolated from the rest of the patients and workers.

He added that they still aren’t sure how the virus entered the facility.

“We’re still in the preliminary stages of our investigation, at this point, most likely scenario is an asymptomatic staff person would have brought it in,” Lutz said.

Lutz said they are working on getting more people at Lindsay Gardens tested based on risk assessment.

Tulare County Board of Supervisor Kuyler Crocker, whose district accounts for Redwood Springs, said the facility is in desperate need of help.

“We have an extreme staffing shortage at this site, we need additional staffing,” Crocker said.

Fifty of the 156 people infected at Redwood Springs are employees, which has shortened its healthcare staff significantly. Redwood Springs had a total of 150 patients and 150 employees before this outbreak.

Kaweaha Delta has stepped up and helped with staffing shortages, but Crocker said they need help from the state.

The number of COVID-19 cases in these two nursing homes alone account for at least 45% of the county’s total cases.

“There are issues with this operator, and that’s why I’m calling for a full investigation, a thorough investigation that people need to be held accountable for this tragedy that has happened at Redwood Springs,” Crocker said.

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