As the state battles a new coronavirus surge, public health officials and lawmakers are grappling with how to better prepare skilled nursing facilities for the next infectious disease crisis.
Two reporters share how they cleared tall hurdles to paint a harrowing portrait of COVID-19's impact on Southern California nursing homes.
In a recent survey, more than three-quarters of nursing home residents said they did not leave their rooms to socialize.
Nursing home workers like Eyvette Diane Pascascio are among the most vulnerable and arguably most overlooked heroes of this pandemic.
On April 11, Dena Garcia was told that her mother was running a fever. Three days later, she was sent to the ER, where she was unresponsive.
One facility was hit hard – 50-plus COVID cases and more than a dozen deaths. Another endured only 3 cases and just one patient died. Many factors likely figure in the difference.
Many factors can contribute to how severely the virus strikes a home, including its location and size. But having enough staff is vital, especially during a pandemic, experts say. New research backs that up.
Local leaders have described the deadly toll within skilled nursing facilities as a “pandemic within a pandemic.”
Some were more well-known to the public than others but ‘they were all well-known to us and loved by us,’ said Bob Beitcher, president and CEO of the Motion Picture and Television Fund.
Management stockpiled protective equipment. They informed residents that they would be sheltering in place. They acted ahead of the recommendations. Still, six of the residents died.