Visalia nursing home resident dies after testing positive for COVID-19

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A resident of the Redwood Springs Healthcare Center in Visalia who tested positive for COVID-19 has died, a spokesperson for the facility said Tuesday.

The nursing home did not release an official cause of death.

Another resident has been hospitalized.

The Tulare County Public Health Branch says the center currently has 56 residents and staff members who have tested positive for the virus.

This is a breaking news update. Our original story follows below.

The number of COVID-19 residents at the Redwood Springs Healthcare Center in Visalia nearly quadrupled over the weekend.

Officials with the nursing home confirmed on Monday that 25 residents and 19 staff members have tested positive for the virus.

A current employee claims numbers could have been minimized had management acted quicker.

She wants to remain anonymous in fear of repercussions at work and instead has chosen to go by the alias, Lisa.

"It is horrible because we all worked around the infected people and came home to our families," Lisa said.

Lisa says most staff learned about the COVID-19 positive patients not through management, but through the news.

According to her, the first patient was tested on March 25.

RELATED: Employee claims eight COVID-19 cases at Visalia nursing home could have been avoided

"Anybody who knew he was being tested, they asked us to keep it a secret," Lisa said.

In a statement, Redwood Springs Administrator Anita Hubbard says the first patients began showing symptoms on March 29 and were sent to the hospital.

The residents they were treating were then put in quarantine. Staff was then notified a day later.

Lisa says her worst fear is now possibly contracting the disease and passing it on to her children, including her baby.

"The not knowing is scary, and I know there are other employees that have young children, and they have been exposed," Lisa said.

Lisa says Redwood Springs is not doing enough to protect residents or staff. She says staff were given quarantine kits with protective gear but were not provided specialized masks.

She also claims team members aren't being screened properly.

"Basically, if they don't have a fever when they are clocking in, they are able to work and it has to be a fever over 100.4," Lisa said.

Hubbard says they started screening staff in the first week of March, checking for respiratory issues and temperatures.

She also adds all those working in the COVID unit were given an N95 mask as an additional safety precaution.

At the moment, nine test results are still pending for staff, and 10 for residents.

EMBED More News Videos

Lisa says staff at Redwood Springs were given quarantine kits with protective gear but were not provided specialized masks.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.