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California nursing home reports 12 virus deaths, 75 cases

GILROY, Calif. (AP) — Twelve residents at a skilled nursing home in Northern California have died from COVID-19, and 75 have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a newspaper report Thursday.

When the infections and deaths occurred at the Gilroy Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center is unclear, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The state only reports the cumulative number of cases since the start of the pandemic and does not specify when those cases happened, the newspaper said.

“On behalf of our entire community, we join these families in mourning the loss of their loved ones to this insidious virus,” the facility said in a statement.

Officials at Gilroy Healthcare and Covenant Care did not respond to requests for comment from the Chronicle.

The center, which has 134 beds, began accepting COVID-19 patients from hospitals in August, treating 32 people in a separate ward, according to Fox 2 in Oakland. A family member of one deceased resident told the Chronicle she received confirmation of the transfers from a senior member of the facility’s staff via e-mail.

However, center officials did not address the reported transfers, nor did they say how many residents had contracted COVID since August.

Of the 75 patients infected with the virus at the facility since the pandemic began, all 63 who survived have recovered, according to the statement posted on the website of Covenant Care, the Southern California company that operates the Gilroy facility.

Santa Clara County data shows that 18 positive cases among residents of the facility were reported in the last 28 days.

Fifty-four staff members at the facility also tested positive for coronavirus, 53 of whom have recovered, the center said.

Skilled nursing homes have been hotbed for coronavirus outbreaks statewide. Since the start of the pandemic, 26,647 nursing home residents have tested positive for the virus and 4,591 have died, according to state data as of Wednesday. That represents about 27% of all coronavirus deaths in California, the newspaper said.

The Gilroy facility has been cited three times by state health regulators — in June, July and August — for failing to report COVID-19 survey data, which the state said “resulted in incomplete data reported to the (state) necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The failures had the potential to compromise residents’ health and safety, according to a citation issued by the state in August, the Chronicle reported.

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