By Anna Bauman, San Francisco Chronicle, May 21 2020

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By Anna Bauman, San Francisco Chronicle, May 21 2020

A health care worker from John Muir Medical Center prepares to enter Orinda Care Center, where nearly 50 residents and staff members have tested positive for coronavirus, on Monday, April 6, 2020, in Orinda, Calif. Photo: Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle

Contra Costa County prosecutors are investigating an Orinda nursing home where at least four residents have died and more than 50 people have been infected with the coronavirus, officials said.

The Contra Costa County district attorney’s office is collaborating with state law enforcement and regulatory agencies on an investigation into the COVID-19 deaths at the facility, according to a statement from deputy district attorney Melissa Smith.

The virus has blazed through skilled nursing and assisted living facilities where elderly and chronically ill residents are vulnerable and live in close quarters.

Thirty residents have tested positive for the coronavirus at Orinda Care as of Thursday, according to data from the California Department of Public Health. At least 23 staff were infected, county officials reported in April.

At least four residents have died, although the county did not respond to a request for updated numbers in May.

State records show a lengthy record of health and safety violations at the Orinda facility, including staffing shortages, lack of cleaning protocols and a report of sexual abuse against a resident.

State officials denied three applications from Crystal Solorzano, owner of the Orinda Care Center, to operate other facilities. Her nursing home administrator license was revoked in May 2019, records show, although a spokesperson denied it.

The spokesperson for Orinda Care Center did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the district attorney’s investigation.

The California Department of Justice said in a statement that it is unable to comment on a potential or ongoing investigation.

In April, the Alameda County district attorney’s office launched a probe into Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hayward where 17 residents have died of COVID-19.

Anna Bauman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: anna.bauman@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @abauman2

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