By Marissa Perlman

TURLOCK (CBS13) — Another nursing facility coronavirus outbreak has been reported in California, and this time it may be the largest one in the Sacramento Valley region.

Two former residents have died and 51 people – 34 residents and 17 employees — have been diagnosed with coronavirus at the Turlock Nursing Facility and Rehabilitation Center. Now the facility is waiting for more than 200 test results to come back.

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These are scary numbers for Sam Shaver, whose sister is still living inside the facility.

“I think if you have a loved one, you need to be concerned because of the way it spread,” said Shaver.

Shaver, who is a vocational nurse herself, is now trying to get her sister out and home with her. She’s waiting to find out if her sister’s coronavirus test results.

“Certainly when you entrust them to a facility and you have a loved one, you expect them to get the best possible care there, and they’re protected from this type of a thing,” said Shaver.

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She wants to know how the number of cases increased so dramatically, so quickly.

“They are not following universal precautions and protecting their staff and patients,” she said.

Elder living advocate Carole Herman says now that so many staff members have been diagnosed, she’s questioning how many staff members are there now to take care of the residents.

“If you don’t have the staff, its neglect because you can’t take care of the patients,” Herman said.

The nursing facility released a statement that says in part its designated one wing of its facility for residents who tested positive, and another wing for residents who tested negative.

Staff and other medical personnel are being screened when they enter the building and are outfitted with personal protective equipment.

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Here is the full statement from the facility:

As our nation, state and local community continue to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, we wish to provide you with this update regarding its impact on Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

We share this information because we believe it is important to everyone’s health and well-being to keep our residents, families, staff and the public fully informed.

As we previously shared, we have tested all our residents and members of our staff for COVID-19 in collaboration with local and state health departments and our community hospital partners.  We are informing our residents and their families, as well as our staff, of their test results as they are received.  

We have no new test results to share since yesterday’s update, which was:

  • 124 residents have been tested for COVID-19, 34 residents have tested positive, 10 residents have tested negative, and 87 tests results are pending; and
  • 155 staff members have been tested for COVID-19; 17 staff members have tested positive and 23 staff members tested negative, and 115 test results are pending

In addition, we regret to inform you that two former residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have passed away.  One of our former residents passed away earlier today, whereas the other former resident passed away last week.  On behalf of the entire team at Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, we mourn with these families as they deal with the loss of their loved ones.

As previously shared, we have implemented several additional measures to provide for the care and safety of our residents and staff, as well as our community, which include:

  • Devoting a distinct wing of our facility to the continued care of our residents who have tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Designating a separate wing of our facility for the care of our residents who tested negative for COVID-19;
  • Continuing to screen staff and essential medical personnel upon entry to our facility and fully outfitting them with personal protective equipment (PPE) as appropriate for their respective duties; and
  • Suspending admissions and discharges for a 14-day quarantine period in accordance with local and state health department guidance.

Providing for the safety and well-being of our residents and staff remains our paramount priority.  

We are following all guidance set forth for privacy, patient care, employee safety and efforts to help limit the spread of COVID-19, as provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

We especially wish to commend our staff for their continued commitment to the care of our residents, particularly given the risks to their own health and that of their families.  We truly are family serving families.

We also want to offer our deepest gratitude to our community partners who have provided supplies, conducted testing and collaborated with our facility and staff to provide the very best care and treatment for our residents.  We especially thank Lani Dickinson, CEO of Emanuel Medical Center, and Dr. Julie Vaishampayan of the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency for their commitment and leadership during these trying times.   

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We will continue to provide regular updates when we have new information to share.  We thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Marissa Perlman