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Some nursing facilities COVID free for weeks

Once a major source of coronavirus outbreaks in Nevada County, many skilled nursing facilities have now been “COVID free“ for weeks.

According to Golden Empire infection preventionist Beth Lewis, the facility is going on three weeks without having to isolate a patient for COVID-19.

“We’re doing great,” Lewis said.



At one time Golden Empire was a significant hub for coronavirus outbreaks, responsible for 32 of the county’s 74 COVID-19 related deaths.

According to state data, the facility hasn’t had a new case among residents since Jan. 18 and has had no new cases among health care workers since Jan. 11.



Lewis said Golden Empire has completed both rounds of vaccinations with a third, makeup round coming but with no date set.

Crystal Ridge Care Center has also completed both vaccination rounds, with a third round likely as well, though no date has been set.

State data shows Crystal Ridge has had no cases among health care workers since Jan. 22 and no cases among residents since Jan. 5.

According to spokesperson David Oates, Wolf Creek Care Center will have their second vaccination clinic next week, with a third to be determined.

“We’ll see what the final outcomes are in terms of who remains to be vaccinated,” he said.

Oates said the facility has been COVID free for nearly a month, with state data reporting the last new resident case on Dec. 30 and the last health care worker case on Dec. 27.

Spring Hill Manor Convalescent Hospital was not immediately available for comment, though state data shows their last resident case was Dec. 7 and last reported health care worker case was Dec. 3.

While the facilities do not share how many residents and staff have taken the vaccine for privacy concerns, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report this week found California vaccination rates were between 40-59% for health care staff and 60-79% for residents in skilled nursing facilities.

The study found among health care workers that frequently cited reasons for declining the vaccine included hesitancy about its development, side effects and approval process.

A November survey of long term care facility staff, for example, found while 45% of health care workers would be willing to take the vaccine immediately, an additional 24% said they would consider it in the future.

A follow up survey in January found 28% of health care workers wanted the option to delay their vaccination until they had more information, rather than reject it completely.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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