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Coronavirus outbreak at Orinda senior care facility infects 27 people

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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — At least 27 people have tested positive for COVID-19 after an outbreak at a nursing facility in Orinda, health officials announced Friday.

Contra Costa Health Service said the outbreak at the Orinda Care Center has not resulted in any deaths.

“I think we are all very concerned,” Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County said. “We are all very worried and we’re especially concerned for our seniors and our elderly.”

Health officials began investigation earlier this week when two staff members sought medical care. The two employees tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday along with two patients at the facility.

CCHS tested all patients and staff Thursday. While results continue to return, 24 residents and three staff members came back with positive test results.

Currently, 14 tests have come back negative.

“COVID-19 is a disease with no proven medication treatment and no vaccine,” Dr. Farnitano said. “Our primary weapons against this pandemic virus are isolation and quarantine of known cases and their close contacts for everyone else in the community to strictly follow the stay at home social distancing directives.”

Two residents who tested positive are receiving care at local hospitals.

Staff and residents who do not have serious symptoms are medically isolated but not hospitalized.

“The situation is very serious, and we are deeply concerned about residents of our senior care facilities in Contra Costa County,” Dr. Farnitano said. “That is why we need everyone to follow the stay-at-home order, social distancing guidance and other measures in recent health orders – to protect the people in our community who are vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.”

The 47-bed facility is still operating — but for weeks now, have had no group events and have not allowed any visitors.

County health officials say they are working closely with the skilled nursing facility to decrease risk of continued transmission to other staff and residents who have not contracted the virus.

“This does not come as a surprise,” Dr. Farnitano said. “This is someting we’ve been worried about and preparing for for quite some time.”

According to CCHS, Orinda Care Center is a skilled nursing facility with 45 residents and is following all health recommendations to prevent further spread of the virus.

This is not the only senior care facility under investigation by Contra Costa County Health officials.

They would not tell us how many others — but we know it’s more than just this one in the county.

“Public Health has prepared for the possibility of outbreaks happening in skilled nursing facilities and other congregate care settings, and we have provided clear guidance for facilities in responding and controlling the spread of illness,” Contra Costa Public Health Director Dan Peddycord said. “We are working closely with the facilities now to protect residents and staff.”

In Contra Costa County, five people have died and more than 300 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

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