Coronavirus Death Toll At Yuciapa Acute Care Facility Climbs To Sixteen

The death toll from coronavirus at the Yucaipa nursing home wherein the most intensive known clustering of the disease in San Bernardino County has occurred has grown to 16, the San Bernardino County Public Health Department announced late today.
From shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation facility, located at 11970 4th Street in Yucaipa, has been at the epicenter of the contagion locally. One of its residents was the third confirmed county fatality to have resulted from the condition last month. By March 28, it was acknowledged that an even dozen of its residents had contracted coronavirus. At this point, 70 of the facility’s residents, nearly all of them elderly, have tested positive and 33 staff members were likewise infected. All 16 deaths were of patients.
A report received by the Sentinel that went unconfirmed by the Department of Health at press time was that 13 nursing homes in San Bernardino County had coronoavirus outbreaks.
There are over 320 nursing homes, convalescent care, recovery, acute care, board and care, long-term recovery, support care and skilled nursing facilities licensed and functioning at a level below that of a hospital in San Bernardino County. The lion’s share of the residents in those facilities are elderly and infirm, and most of those are considered vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Two other such facilities in San Bernardino County have experienced a significant incidence of infection. Three patients at the Reche Canyon Rehabilitation & Health Care Center in Colton have died among 15 of those in residence there who were infected, along with another 14 staff members who came down with the virus.
At the Plymouth Village Retirement Estates in Redlands, six residents were known to be infected as of yesterday, with a single death. Another eight employees at the sprawling 37-acre facility had tested positive for corornavirus antibodies.
There have been an undisclosed number of cases involving patients, staff or both at the Apple Valley Post Acute Care Center in Apple Valley, the Spring Valley Post Acute Center in Victorville and the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree. There was reportedly one death at the Spring Valley Post Acute Care Center and two deaths at the Hi-Desert Medical Center.
The rash of infection at those six facilities has created a substantial problem, as those personnel with the condition are unable to return to work, because their close contact with elderly and vulnerable residents would put those populations at risk. This has led to a shortage of healthcare workers and maintenance crews at the facilities, and, as a consequence, diminished care levels, attention and a downgrade in sanitation.
Compounding the problem is that since April 6, San Bernardino County has been functioning under an order by Public Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson enjoining healthcare workers or those who do custodial work at nursing homes, convalescent care facilities or the like who are employed at multiple locations to discontinue their employment at more than one such facility. This has contributed to the manpower shortage, and the facilities have had to scramble to find suitably trained and qualified replacements.
On Wednesday, 996 people countywide had tested positive for coronavirus and 39 had died. By Thursday, the number of confirmed cases had reached 1,032, and 47 had perished. As of press time today, there were 1,096 verified cases of infection among county residents and 55 deaths directly attributed to coronavirus.
As of today, something over half of a percent of the county’s roughly 2.2 million population had been tested, according to the health department, with the exact number of officially registered tests being 11,808, although it is believed there have been a smattering of tests done privately that have not been reported. The 1,096 known cases weighed against the 11,808 known tests indicates an infection rate of 9.2818 percent, which most assuredly does not reflect the actual rate of infection throughout the county population given the likely statistical error based on the limited sampling the testing represents.
The latest available breakdown of the geographical locales where infection has taken hold was from yesterday, when the whereabouts of all but 32 of the 1,021 people in the county known to have contracted the virus up to that point were provided.
Fontana, the county’s second-largest city, led the county in this dubious category with 123 cases, ahead of San Bernardino, the county’s most populous city, which had 114 confirmed cases at that point, and Yucaipa, which had 113, a number bloated by the presence of Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation facility within its city limits. Needles, the least populous of San Bernardino County’s 24 incorporated municipalities, bore the salubrious distinction of being the only city without any known cases of the virus.
According to the San Bernardino County Department of Heath there were eight confirmed cases in Adelanto, including a member of its city council; 15 in Apple Valley; eight in Barstow; five in in Big Bear Lake, including the city’s mayor; 14 in Bloomington; three in Blue Jay; 60 in Chino; 43 in Chino Hills; 17 in Colton; four in Crestline; 123 in Fontana; two in Fort Irwin; 11 in Grand Terrace; 31 in Hesperia; 42 in Highland; two in Joshua Tree; two in Landers; 19 in Loma Linda; four in Mentone; 11 in Montclair; four in Morongo Valley; five in Oak Hills; 54 in Ontario; two in Phelan; 66 in Rancho Cucamonga; 62 in Redlands; 44 in Rialto; one in Rimforst; two in Running Springs; 114 in San Bernardino; four in Twentynine Palms; 38 in Upland; 47 in Victorville; one in Wrightwood; 113 in Yucaipa; eight in Yucca Valley and 32 in unspecified or undetermined locations.
-Mark Gutglueck

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