As COVID-19 recoveries increase, Tulare County works to test all nursing home residents and staff

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Of the five skilled nursing facilities with significant outbreaks in Tulare County, Redwood Springs still has the highest number of total COVID-19 cases - more than 200 residents, staff, and associated contacts have tested positive for the disease.

But company officials say more than 90 residents have recovered.

Similarly, Lindsay Gardens now has at least 80 total recoveries.

"We continue to remain vigilant against this cunning virus and thankful that more than 90 residents have recovered from COVID-19," Redwood Springs' Administrator Anita Hubbard said. "Our mission continues to be caring for the well-being of everyone in our facility. We're grateful to our dedicated team whose services and sacrifices enable us to fight this pandemic."

In April, rapid deployment teams from the state were sent to Redwood Springs and Lindsay Gardens.

Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency Public Information Officer Carrie Monteiro says those teams have since left the facilities as their situations have stabilized.

But there's more medical support on standby if a facility needs some outside help.

"We have now a group of individuals who are trained by the state, certified by the state, and available to us as a medical reserve corps should we need to call on them for extra bodies to go in and help either in our hospitals, go in and help either in our skilled nursing facilities," Monteiro said.

County and state officials are continuing to provide support and guidance to those nursing homes still struggling to contain outbreaks like Sierra Valley Rehabilitation Center in Porterville.

And they're working with all 17 Tulare County facilities to test everyone inside the buildings.

"Our Tulare County Public Health Department, our Tulare County Health Lab have been in coordination with all of the skilled nursing facilities in the county," Monteiro said. "And work is underway today in getting all the residents and employees for all the nursing home facilities in Tulare County tested for COVID-19."

Lindsay Gardens adds that "all current residents and staff have tested negative at this point."
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