27 Cases Confirmed In Contra Costa County Senior Center Outbreak

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
April 03, 2020 - 3:10 pm
A medical worker learns how to wear masks during a medical training session at People's Hospital of Chengmai County, south China's Hainan province, Feb. 11, 2020.


A skilled nursing facility in Contra Costa County is the site of a novel coronavirus outbreak that has infected 27 people.

County public health officials began investigating Tuesday after two employees at the Orinda Care Center sought medical attention for coronavirus symptoms. The county’s initial investigation found five cases: two residents, who have both been hospitalized, and three staff. 

All residents and staff members were tested for the virus on Thursday and 22 more residents received positive results. 14 tests came back negative and more results are pending.

There are 45 residents at the facility in total and most are over the age of 65. 

Contra Costa County health officer Dr. Chris Farnitano says the county is working closely with the facility to manage the outbreak. Residents who tested positive and are not showing serious symptoms will remain at the facility and are being separated from those who received negative results. The two groups will be assisted by different staff members to reduce exposure and Dr. Farnitano says because of the ongoing strain on the healthcare workforce, staff who have tested positive but are asymptomatic may continue to report to work with protective equipment and assist only residents who have also tested positive. All staff have also been issued personal protective equipment.

The county is also now in the early stages of investigating and testing at two other senior care facilities.

“The situation is very serious, and we are deeply concerned about residents of our senior care facilities in Contra Costa County,” said Dr. Farnitano. “That is why we need everyone to follow the stay-at-home order, social distancing guidance and other measures in recent health orders – to protect the people in our community who are vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.”

As of Friday morning, Contra Costa County reported 276 cases and 3 deaths.