1 resident dies of COVID-19, 12 others test positive at Yucaipa nursing facility in San Bernardino County’s 1st cluster outbreak

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By Nouran SalahiehJennifer McGraw KTLA 5, Mar 28, 2020

One resident has died of COVID-19 and 12 others have tested positive for the virus at a Yucaipa nursing facility, a spokeswoman for the facility said Saturday.

An 89-year-old woman with underlying health issues who had died of COVID-19 Thursday was a resident at the facility where 12 other residents described as “elderly” have tested positive, county authorities said in a news release.

“This is the first instance we have had in our county of a concentrated COVID-19 outbreak,” Acting County Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson said in a written statement.

The woman who died had been transferred from Cedar Mountain Pose Acute, 11970 4th St., to a hospital on March 26 after exhibiting respiratory symptoms and has since succumbed to the illness, according to a media consultant for the facility, Elizabeth Tyler.

Of the 12 residents diagnosed with novel coronavirus, “Two of these residents have also been transferred to the acute hospital because their symptoms increased. The other 10 residents who have tested positive are being cared for here and are stable at this time,” Tyler said in a written statement.

“Staff testing is pending. Any staff member who appears to be symptomatic is home self-isolating,” she said.

The source of the COVID-19 exposure at the nursing home remained unknown Saturday, according to Tyler.

Lydia Uhling said she was worried about her 94-year-old mother, who lives at Cedar Mountain Post Acute, as well as the other residents.

She added that she thought the facility should have provided more information sooner.

“I just think that they should have let us all know what’s going on,” Uhler said.

Meanwhile, a resident at another nursing facility in Mentone is also showing symptoms of the respiratory illness and the county said it’s working with both facilities on getting residents and employees tested faster. Officials had previously said that both facilities were in Yucaipa.

The county did not name the Mentone facility.

San Bernardino County has had at least 64 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths as of Friday.

“This outbreak (is) 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.

The 12 cases at the Yucaipa location were reported as elder care facilities across the country grapple with a pandemic that health experts have have described as particularly dangerous to those 65 and older and people with underlying health conditions, making senior care communities vulnerable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists people who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities as at higher risk for severe illness.

Senior care facilities across the state have already started restricting visitors, stepping up cleanings and canceling community events.

KTLA’s Brian Day contributed to this story.