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Most coronavirus deaths in Contra Costa County occurred at senior living homes, health department says

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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Long-term care facilities appear to be ground zero for coronavirus related deaths in Contra Costa County.

The public health department says nearly 70-percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the county have happened at senior or assisted living homes.

The startling number now has the county’s attention.

At least 71 of the 103 COVID-19 related deaths reported in Contra Costa County trace back to residents and staff members at long-term care facilities.

That’s according to the public health department.

“The people in those facilities tend to have worse underlying health to begin with,” Ori Tzvieli said. “So, they are more susceptible to a harsher course of the virus.”

In the past two weeks, the most recent information from Contra Costa Health Services shows at least residents have died at long-term care faculties.

Deputy health officer Dr. Ori Tzvieli recently shared during a virtual meeting with the county board of supervisors that the high percentage of cases is tied directly to the overall rise in countywide cases.

“That means that more people who work in nursing homes will bring it in even when they don’t know they have it, because many people can be asymptomatic and still transmit it,” Dr. Tzvieli said.

The latest online data from health services shows that 25 outbreaks have been reported in Contra Costa County at long-term care facilities.

15 of those cases are still active — 10 have been resolved.

“Once we have defined a nursing home as having an outbreak, we go back and try to test every seven days,” Dr. Tzvieli said. “So, we have an outbreak team that goes out to the nursing homes and tests.”

The state department of public health regulates long-term care facilities, like nursing homes and requires residents who have tested positive for the virus to be separated from the rest of the population during recovery.

The county says all long-term care sites are also mandated to have every resident tested for covid-19 at least once by the end of the month.

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