Contra Costa County health officials announced Friday that 27 people from one assisted living facility in Orinda have tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Officials Tuesday became aware of the first five cases at the Orinda Care Center, a 47-bed facility. Two of the initial five are residents and are hospitalized — the remaining three are staff members who are isolating at home, according to Public Health Director Dan Peddycord.
The assisted living facility is part of the Sutter Health Network.
Peddycord said he is not aware of the conditions of the two patients who have been transferred to the hospitals. A team was quickly dispatched to the facility and the investigation identified an additional 22 positive cases.
Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said:
“Unfortunately, this done not come as a surprise.”
The facility’s resident population are generally elderly and nearly half of the patients who have tested positive are over the age of 80 years old, Farnitano said.
He said it’s preferable that residents remain at the facility to receive the care and monitoring they need, stressing that families are not often equipped or qualified to care for patients in home settings.
Officials said all of the facility’s residents have since been tested and they are working to test the remaining staff.
“Viruses don’t have wings and they don’t have legs.”
He added that if patients are moved from facility to facility, it creates an opportunity to “give the virus legs.”
“We are very concerned.”
Officials urged during Friday’s briefing that all such facilities adhere to rules set out weeks ago that prohibit all group activities and limit visits to essential needs only. Very few exceptions to the visitation rules have been allowed.