Nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks clustered in East County

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EL CAJON, Calif. — At least 11 nursing homes in San Diego County have been hit with outbreaks of COVID-19, with one East County facility reporting that 19 residents and close to a dozen workers have tested positive for the virus.

The people living in the nursing facilities are considered among the most at-risk from the higly contagious viral disease.

Over the weekend, the California Department of Health officials released the names of 258 nursing homes across the state with COVID-19 outbreaks, including some located in San Diego County.

The department’s website said the list was a snapshot representing 86% of the state’s 1,224 skilled-nursing facilities that have reported data within the past 24 hours.

Five of the 11 local nursing homes on the list are in El Cajon. Country Hills Post Acute in El Cajon reported the county’s highest number of patients, 19, who tested positive for COVID-19. Fewer than 11 staff members tested positive.

FOX 5 contacted Country Hills Monday. Management releases a statement saying, in part, “Our primary concern is the health and well-being of residents and staff.  Most of the residents show no symptoms or mild to moderate symptoms.  The residents continue to reside at the facility and are in isolation.”

Villa Rancho, a nursing home on Bernardo Center Drive, and The Bradley Court in El Cajon both reported the second-highest number of patients who tested positive, five. Four staff members also tested positive at both locations.

According to the California Association of Healthcare Facilities, 80% of nursing homes in the state are free of COVID-19. The association said that is credit to  nursing home workers, who isolated patients from visitors early on, ramped up infection prevention protocols and refused to take patients testing positive for coronavirus from hospitals.  The associations statement added that the focus should be on providing personal protective equipment for workers at these facilities and prioritized testing for skilled nursing workers.

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