30 patients, some staff members infected with COVID-19 at Riverside nursing home

As Riverside County approaches 800 coronavirus cases, health officials announced Sunday that 30 patients of a skilled nursing facility, Extended Care Hospital of Riverside, tested positive for COVID-19.

Health officials are awaiting test results from other patients and employees at the 90-bed Magnolia Avenue facility that may have the virus.

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The facility is closed to new admissions, sick patients are being isolated, and staff members are not being permitted to work elsewhere, Riverside County public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said in a statement. 

Kaiser also said Riverside County residents are now required to wear face masks while practicing social distancing when outdoors. 

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“We will be seeing more and more of these outbreaks in the community. This is a vulnerable population and we’ll take all the steps necessary to protect them. But these steps can only work effectively if people stay home, stay apart, and cover up their faces in public to reduce overall transmission,” Kaiser said.

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Trent Evans, general counsel for Extended Care, said there is nothing more important than the safety of residents and the associates who care for them daily.“We’re proud of our team’s dedication and professionalism during this global pandemic,” Evans said.

“Extended Care has been proactively on the forefront of the efforts to stave off COVID 19, strictly following all government suggested and mandated protocols, including long term infection control measures in anticipation of circumstances like these.

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“We have been working closely with one of California's premier infectious disease specialist physicians to assure that the facility maintains the highest standards in all areas of care while our attention is trained on infection protection. We are confident that the Extended Care Hospital of Riverside will continue to be a top-rated facility going forward,” Evans said in a statement.

“This is a very serious situation and shows why we must all take serious steps to change our behavior because these steps are intended to protect our most vulnerable,” Riverside County Supervisor Karen Spiegel said.

As of Monday morning, there are 799 confirmed novel coronavirus cases overall and 19 COVID-19 related deaths.