Humboldt County Public Health has confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak of 30 people at the Granada Rehab and Wellness skilled nursing facility in Eureka.
One employee and 29 residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the 87-bed facility.
The outbreak was detected by a recent routine state-required COVID-19 testing after a staff member tested positive public health then expanded the test to every person in the facility, which has turned up 29 positive cases so far.
"Experts in infection control from Public Health and CDPH are assisting the facility in containing the outbreak, including on-site support. Public Health will provide ongoing testing of all staff and residents and additional expertise as needed," the release states.
Humboldt County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Josh Ennis said this outbreak shows how difficult it is to keep the vulnerable safe from COVID-19 infections once community transmission becomes widespread.
“We have a level of disease circulating right now that compromises our ability to conserve our hospital beds and ultimately protect the vulnerable,” he said in the release.
Toward the end of May, Alder Bay Assisted Living Facility in Eureka was the epicenter of another cluster of COVID-19 cases, as the facility had five staff members and seven residents test positive for the virus, with four residents dying of the disease.
The novel coronavirus is known to attack the lungs and can be fatal to those with underlying health conditions and those 65 years or older.
According to national data analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the COVID-19 virus has killed more than 100,000 long-term care facility residents and staff as of the last week in November.
KFF also found that nationwide 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths come from long-term care facilities.
The nonprofit organization does note that the data could be an underestimate as five states (Hawaii, Maine, Missouri, Nevada and West Virginia) have not updated their long-term care death reports in more than a week and Alaska does not provide data on deaths in these facilities.
Granada administrators are working with county and state public health to follow recommended containment strategies and closely monitor residents’ health, according to the release.
Read the full press release below.
Dec. 3, 2020 - Routine Screening Uncovers COVID Outbreak at Skilled Nursing Facility
Routine testing of staff led to discovery of COVID-19 cases at Granada Rehabilitation & Wellness Center in Eureka. Thirty people in the facility have tested positive, including one staff person and 29 residents.
Skilled nursing facilities and other long-term care facilities are required by the state to test all staff on a weekly basis. A positive result from that routine testing activates a set of responses outlined by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
Following the initial positive result from the most recent round of routine testing, Humboldt County Public Health expanded testing this week to every person in the facility, which has so far turned up 29 additional cases in residents. Experts in infection control from Public Health and CDPH are assisting the facility in containing the outbreak, including on-site support. Public Health will provide ongoing testing of all staff and residents and additional expertise as needed.
Humboldt County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Josh Ennis said this outbreak demonstrates the difficulty in keeping the vulnerable safe from COVID infection once community transmission is so widespread. “We have a level of disease circulating right now that compromises our ability to conserve our hospital beds and ultimately protect the vulnerable,” he said.
“These residents are beloved community members, family of somebody you may know, often with deep roots in Humboldt, and our thoughts are with them right now,” Dr. Ennis said. “It’s time for all of us to step up and connect our everyday actions to life real-life consequences. Mask, distance, wash hands and don’t gather.”
Administrators at Granada are following recommended containment strategies and are working closely with Public Health and CDPH to closely monitor residents’ health.
For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting email@example.com or calling 707-441-5000.