At least 30 Riverside nursing facility patients test positive for coronavirus; county cases jump to 799

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By JENNIFER IYER | | Redlands Daily Facts | April 5, 2020 at 6:21 p.m.

Officials are waiting for results from other employees and patients.

About 30 patients and some staff members at Extended Care Hospital of Riverside tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Riverside County Public Health officials said Sunday, April 5, 2020. (Photo courtesy Google Maps)

Thirty patients and some staff members at a skilled nursing facility in Riverside have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as Riverside County officials announced a triple digit jump in the number of confirmed cases on Sunday, April 5.

Cases jumped to 799 from Saturday’s 665, but only one new death was reported, bringing that total to 19. The number of patients recovered remained at 60.

A crowd of women and a few men adhere to the CDC’s recommendation to wear cloth face coverings in public settings as they wait to get into Joann’s Fabric and Crafts Store in Corona on April, 5, 2020. Some express themselves with upbeat designs or bright colors. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Officials are waiting for results from other employees and patients at the more than 90-bed Extended Care Hospital of Riverside.

“We will be seeing more and more of these outbreaks in the community,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, in a news release. “This is a vulnerable population and we’ll take all the steps necessary to protect them. But these steps can only work effectively if people stay home, stay apart, and cover up their faces in public to reduce overall transmission.”

The news comes after a Saturday announcement from Kaiser that no gatherings of any number of people may take place outside of family members residing in the same home. He also ordered everyone to cover their face when leaving home.

Sick patients were isolated at the nursing facility, which has been closed to new patients. Staff were not allowed to work at other facilities, the county said, and those who test positive will not be allowed to work until cleared.

Trent Evans, general counsel for Extended Care, said in the news release that the safety of residents and staff is the top priority.

“We have been working closely with one of California’s premier infectious disease specialist physicians to assure that the facility maintains the highest standards in all areas of care while our attention is trained on infection protection,” Evans said.

In the release officials said the county prioritizes  investigations at rehab and nursing facilities because residents are more vulnerable and their close proximity leads to a high risk of serious illness.