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12 COVID-19 deaths at Gilroy nursing home

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GILROY, Calif. (KRON) – A dozen deaths are reported in a skilled nursing facility in Gilroy.  

Other residents and staff are also testing positive for the virus.

The deaths are related to a widely accepted practice of accepting coronavirus patients from hospitals.

Gilroy Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center has confirmed that 12 residents have died from COVID-19.  

Another 75 residents have tested positive.  

The facility has been caring for COVID positive patients transferred from hospitals, according to advocates for nursing home reform attorney Mike Dark. 

“It’s that hospitals will send people with COVID into nursing facilities to be cared for often among other people who are COVID negative and some of the consequences, as you can expect, are catastrophic,” Dark said.

Another 54 staff members have tested positive as visitors, residents and staff are now being routinely screened and tested.    

Transfers were quarantined in a special recovery unit.  

The facility says all of the transferred patients recovered, insisting the virus was not introduced by the transfers and that a resident had tested positive here back in June.  

“We should be able to do much better, we should be able to do better than thousands of people dying in these facilities across the state. Part of the problem is that this is really the halfway mark. We’re entering now a period that we’ll be seeing both flu and COVID, there are still restrictions on visitation so families can’t get into these facilities to see how people are doing, make sure that they are safe. So we will have other Gilroy’s happening across the state for the next few months,” Dark said.

Gilroy Healthcare declined a request for an interview but in a statement the facility says it is working closely with the state and local health department and will continue to follow their guidance and that of the CDC. 

Actions taken include screening staff and essential personnel, providing appropriate PPE across the facility,  a separate observation for new admissions, and designated separate wings for residents who may test positive for COVID-19.

Since the pandemic began, roughly 4,500 people have died of COVID-19 infection at skilled nursing facilities, that accounts for roughly 27% of all deaths so far.

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