COVID-19-related death reported at Atria Senior Living |

COVID-19-related death reported at Atria Senior Living

An outbreak of COVID-19 cases at a residential care facility for the elderly has led to Nevada County’s third coronavirus-related death, and the second this month.

According to state public health records, assisted living facility Atria Senior Living in Grass Valley had at least one death among its residents as of Thursday. The facility had 12 residents with COVID-19 cases and fewer than 11 staff members with active cases, state records show.

No other residential care facilities for the elderly or assisted living facilities reported any deaths.

Due to privacy concerns the state does not list the exact number of deaths or positive cases if it is fewer than 11.

The Nevada County Public Health Department would not say which assisted living facility was associated with the outbreak. Atria Grass Valley Executive Director Alicia Rist could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this month The Union reported the facility restricted access to visitors, increased symptom screening and isolated patients following an outbreak of nine cases among residents and six among health-care workers at Atria Grass Valley.

According to interim Public Health Director Dr. Richard Johnson, when individuals at health care facilities test positive the facility isolates them, immediately tests for other cases which are also isolated, quarantines any close contacts of the positive patient, and increases monitoring going forward.

Johnson said COVID-19 cases in health care facilities are particularly worrying because the setting could quickly lead to spikes in hospitalizations for which rural hospitals are not well equipped.

“That situation presents a much higher risk, so that’s why we are particularity concerned about those facilities and in dealing with them and trying to limit spread there,” Johnson said. “The risk is higher with people who have underlying medical conditions and elderly folks especially have a much higher chance of having underlying medical conditions. And in the congregate living facilities they’re in close contact is often very difficult to avoid.”

Johnson told the Board of Supervisors this month that because hospitals throughout the state are so strained for resources, it would be difficult to get the help needed if an outbreak does overwhelm local capacity.

Golden Empire Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was the only other facility to report cases among residents. Golden Empire, Crystal Ridge Care Center, and Tahoe Forest National Forest Skilled Nursing Facility reported fewer than 11 cases among health-care workers.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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