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State lists Salinas nursing home as having at least one COVID-19 related death

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SALINAS, Calif. (KION) At least one patient at Windsor The Ridge Rehabilitation Center in Salinas has died from COVID-19-related causes, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.

Exactly how many patients is still unclear. The data from CDPH lists the cases of fatalities at Windsor the Ridge as "<11."

The CDPH chart above gives a snapshot of California skilled nursing facilities that have reported one or more confirmed COVID-19 cases, by either a resident or health care worker as of May 14. The columns from left to right indicate current confirmed COVID-19 cases among health care workers, current confirmed cases among residents, cumulative COVID-related deaths among health care workers, cumulative COVID-related deaths among residents.

Windsor did not comment on the exact number of deaths Monday.

In a statement to KION, Windsor said, "please be assured that the facility is adhering to all recommendations of federal and state agencies."

And they addressed how the facility handles COVID-19 cases, saying, "residents who are infected or who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 are kept in isolation."

CDPH says that the data listed in the chart includes deaths that were reported by facilities to the best of their knowledge. This includes deaths that happened at nursing facilities and those that occurred in other locations, such as a hospital or private home, if the death happened within 14 days after the resident transferred from the skilled nursing home. 

If the death occurred outside of the 14-day period, it may not be captured. The state department says some of these deaths may include residents who had COVID-19, but died of something else. 

Just last month, Windsor confirmed that three residents and an unknown amount of employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The most recent data also shows that Windsor the Ridge has less than 11 current confirmed cases among residents.

The Monterey County Health Department is working with nursing facilities in the region to ensure they are following state guidelines if they identify a worker or resident with COVID-19.

“We spend additional time with that particular nursing facility to make sure they are properly implementing infection control and prevention strategies,” Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno said.

There is a big difference between what one and ten deaths could mean so we asked the county and state health departments why numbers for cases under 11 are not listed and they said it's to protect patient privacy, adding that they are required by law to consider the risks that a patient's personal information could end up being disclosed by providing data with low counts.

In a statement to KION the state said, "counts under 11 are masked because they carry a statistically higher probability of re-identification than counts 11 and over under the California Health and Human Services Data De-Identification Guidelines."

CDPH said that the data is provided to offer a snapshot of COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities in California, and does not imply wrongdoing on the part of the facility.

Windsor said they have been implementing safety precautions for quite some time, including screening employees, conducting daily temperature checks, testing residents and staff and increasing sanitation efforts. 

FULL STATEMENT FROM WINDSOR:

"Like many skilled nursing facilities across the country, Windsor The Ridge Rehabilitation Center (“Windsor”) has a number of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.  The exact numbers can be found on publicly available websites.  Residents who are infected or who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 are kept in isolation. 

"Please be assured that the facility is adhering to all recommendations of federal and state agencies, including The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (“CMS”), and the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”). Our mission is to be hypervigilant in taking every recommended safety measure to minimize the continued spread of the virus to our residents and staff.

"For some time now we have been screening employees at the start of each shift for symptoms of COVID-19 infection, including daily temperature checks and completion of a CDC compliant screening questionnaire. Employees who show signs of illness are asked to leave immediately and isolate at home. 

"Furthermore, residents and staff have been tested.  Visits to our facility have been restricted in compliance with state and federal guidelines. We have increased sanitation of frequently-touched surfaces. We have ample supplies of personal protective equipment. Staff are constantly being in-serviced on best practices in regard to infection control. 

"We are proud of our staff and their dedication to the residents. We respectfully request that all further inquiries be directed to the local Department of Public Health."

Windsor the Ridge Rehabilitation Center

STATEMENT FROM CDPH:

The California Department of Public Health includes only exact numbers 11 and greater by facility to protect patient privacy. Federal and state privacy laws and policy require us to consider the risk that a patient’s personal information could be disclosed by providing data with low counts. Counts under 11 are masked because they carry a statistically higher probability of re-identification than counts 11 and over under the California Health and Human Services Data De-Identification Guidelines.

-California Department of Public Health
Coronavirus / Monterey County / Top Stories

Elisha Machado

Elisha Machado is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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