'Imagine if it was your grandmother': Health officials warn against gatherings as COVID-19 cases in nursing homes spike

Some Fresno and Madera County skilled nursing facilities are reporting the largest caseloads, which are now among the highest in the state.
CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- There are growing concerns for many of the Valley's most vulnerable residents as new data shows a major spike in COVID-19 cases at several skilled nursing facilities.

Some Fresno and Madera County care centers are reporting the largest caseloads, which are now among the highest in the state.

Health officials say these outbreaks are reflective of rising numbers within the general public.

As of Wednesday, according to the California Department of Public Health, two of the major coronavirus outbreaks are at facilities in Clovis and Madera.

Willow Creek Healthcare Center has 38 COVID-positive residents right now. 103 residents in total have been infected with the virus.

Madera County Public Health Director Sara Bosse says at a time when many will gather for Thanksgiving this year, you should remember those who will be unable to fend off COVID-19 because of their age and health.

Often, the virus spreads through these facilities quickly because roommates are common and space is limited.

"Imagine if it was your grandmother, your grandfather in the skilled nursing facility - what would you ask others to do to be able to protect their health?" says Bosse.

46 residents also have the virus at the Palms Care Center in Chowchilla. Calls to managers were not returned.

And in Merced, at the Hylond Healthcare Center, the thumbs-up was a good sign as there are no current positive cases.

Fresno County Health officials say elderly care facilities are among the closest monitored.

Local health leaders have implemented new and better ways to manage outbreaks. Recommended steps include creating various zones in skilled nursing facilities to quarantine those who are infected and trying to keep the same staff working with the same residents.
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