YUCAIPA (CBSLA) — At least 57 people at a nursing facility in Yucaipa have tested positive for COVID-19 and two people have died, officials reported Tuesday.
Of the 57 people infected, it was reported that 51 are residents and six are staff members of Cedar Mountain Post Acute Care Facility.
The county has brought in an infectious disease expert to help stop more spread of the virus.
On Saturday, it was reported that twelve people at a nursing facility in Yucaipa have tested positive for COVID-19 and a resident of a second Yucaipa nursing facility is presenting symptoms of the disease.
“Just being in view of it and knowing what’s going on there is more of a heartbreaking situation,” said a neighbor who lives across the street from Cedar Mountain. “It seems to be getting worse, unfortunately.”
Residents were said to have been quarantined in their rooms and staff was staying in RVs outside the facility, according to the daughter of one of the residents.
In a press release, San Bernardino health officials said that the county is working to test all employees and residents of both facilities.
“This is the first instance we have had in our county of a concentrated COVID-19 outbreak,” said Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “The county will do everything within its ability and authority to minimize the tragedy this pandemic has the potential to create in our communities. We are testing residents and staff of the facilities and working with the California Department of Health Healthcare Associated Infections branch.”
Last week, an 89-year-old woman with underlying health issues, who was a resident of the facility at which 12 individuals test positive, died from COVID-19.
Congressman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, visited the facility Tuesday and expressed concerns about how the virus is spreading quickly through nursing homes like Cedar Mountain.
“If you have come in contact with someone who has worked in one of these facilities [or] is a patient, let them know,” he said. “One person could very well go out and give it to 50 other people, and we’re not talking about 21-year-old kids here. We’re talking about people with conditions that are seriously debilitating.”
City locals also voiced their concerns about not knowing as much information about the incident as they’d like.
“I’m very nervous because we’re away from the city and so we thought we were safe,” said Angela Chudy. “Stay home. Definitely stay home.”
Health officials are urging the community to practice prevention techniques and take advice for best practices during this pandemic.
“This outbreak a signal to anyone in the county who is not taking this pandemic seriously and is resisting complying with public health orders and guidelines that the threat of COVID-19 is very real,” Gustafson said. “Staying at home, minimizing non-essential contact with others, maintaining social distancing from even people we know and with whom we have regular contact, and consistently practicing good hygiene is our best hope of making forward the other side of this pandemic.”
For more information on coronavirus in San Bernardino County, click here.