(From Press Release – Yolo County) – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently released information regarding skilled nursing facility outbreaks and listed the Stollwood Convalescent Hospital at St. John’s Retirement Village in Woodland as the site of the outbreak in Yolo County. As of April 21, the number of total confirmed cases at Stollwood has increased to 64 cases (31 residents and 33 staff) including 6 deaths of residents. Of the staff cases, 6 live outside of Yolo County; based on how cases are tracked and categorized, confirmed cases are tied to a person’s county of residence.
Since the time of the County’s initial announcement of the outbreak on April 13, when there were 35 confirmed cases (23 residents and 12 staff) and 1 resident death at the facility, all residents and staff have since been tested. Results continue to come in from testing labs.
All positive cases at Stollwood have been isolated and staff and residents are being closely monitored. All residents and their families have been notified of the outbreak. Stollwood has implemented multiple measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among residents and staff, such as:
- All staff are required to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to starting a work shift and temperatures are taken before and after a shift.
- Any individuals who show symptoms are immediately isolated.
- Contact investigations are launched for all confirmed cases and potential contacts are quarantined.
- Staff are supplied with PPE and have been trained on how to use the equipment.
- Walkthroughs have been conducted at the facility to determine ways to improve social distancing.
- A family home line has been set up to connect patients with their families.
“The loss of life associated with this outbreak is a devastating moment for our community,” said Yolo County Public Health Officer, Dr. Ron Chapman. “We must acknowledge the suffering of family and friends at this time, who not only lost a loved one, but were unable to be at that individual’s bedside due to the risk of exposure to illness. This fear and uncertainty continues for those that are battling COVID-19 and must remain in isolation. Yet, in the midst of this outbreak, heroic work is occurring to care for and respond to the needs of staff, residents, and families at the facility.”
With the outbreak reducing the number of available staff who could work, many organizations have stepped up in various ways to assist. Staff from emergency medical services, County Public Health, and out-of-county healthcare workers were brought in and are working alongside facility staff to care for the residents. Additionally, when the kitchen at the facility was closed members of the community including local restaurants and Dignity Health rose to the occasion to provide meals.. Previously, Yolo County Public Health issued an order on March 13 for all nursing homes in Yolo County to restrict visitors and non-essential personnel.
“The loss of these local residents and the impact on their families and facility staff is heartbreaking. Our community’s response to these tragedies has been remarkable with people providing food, encouragement, support and solace,” said Yolo County Board Chair Gary Sandy. “May our grief become resolve that each of us will take personal responsibility in stopping the spread of this virus by practicing social distancing, remaining at home, and washing our hands. Honor the memories of those we have lost by protecting one another and safeguarding our community.”
In addition to the outbreak at Stollwood, one case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in a resident of the Californian Assisted Living and Dementia Care facility, also located in Woodland. This resident was transferred to Stollwood since Stollwood already had resources in place and had implemented care plans and infection control measures for COVID 19 patients. Thus far, the virus has not spread to other residents or staff at the Californian. Yolo County Public Health has been working closely with staff at the facility to isolate and test any individuals that may display symptoms.
To assist public tracking of cases, Yolo County will soon launch a new online dashboard dedicated to providing data on long term care facilities with a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak. This secondary dashboard will be located underneath the main COVID-19 dashboard and will distinguish the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases acquired in the community from the cases acquired due to an outbreak. This dashboard will provide a breakdown of the total number of confirmed cases by outbreak location. Since the CDPH has begun releasing long term care facility names and locations, Yolo County will now also share that information on the dashboard. Data regarding COVID-19 cases at Stollwood and the Californian will be provided, along with any additional outbreaks that occur at long term care facilities, at: www.yolocounty/org/coronavirus-dashboard.
“While the long term care facility numbers are devastating, the number of COVID-19 cases in the community remains low and the healthcare system continues to have full capacity to care for sick people,” said Dr. Chapman. “This is heartening and is a direct result of the public’s efforts to socially distance and shelter in place.”