VALLEJO (CBS SF) — A COVID-19 outbreak at The Windsor Vallejo Care Center has claimed 16 lives and left 112 residents infected with the virus, according to Solano County health officials.
On Thursday, a family of one of the residents who died was voicing concerns about the conditions that led to the outbreak. Shawnie Bennett and some other victims’ family members have started a petition on change.org, asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to shut the facility down.
“I believe my brother’s death could have been prevented had they taken proper precautions,” Bennett said.
William Bennett III had been in the facility since last year after suffering a stroke. The coronavirus killed the 31-year-old on May 13th.
“The patient that was in his room who was coughing didn’t have on a mask,” Shawnie Bennett said. “Nor was my brother offered a mask. There are things that they could have done to prevent the death.”
California Health officials have just issued brand new guidelines, saying every nursing home has to test every staff member and every patient at least once a week.
The Solano Public Health department said, in fact, that is exactly what they are doing now at Windsor.
Also, Solano officials said they were keeping covid-positive residents separated from those testing negative. Staffers are being isolated as well, and contact tracing is being done to try to curb the spread of the virus.
KPIX 5 reached out to Josh Sable, an attorney for Windsor, who emailed back that no one would be available for an interview.
The health emergency at Windsor Vallejo Care Center worsened Wednesday after Solano County officials confirmed two more people have died after being infected with COVID-19 at the skilled nursing facility, bringing the total number of deaths at the facility to 13.
Jayleen Richards, Solano County public health administrator, said 10 of the infected individuals were in hospice care at the time of their deaths. She said 99 residents, and 33 staff members have been infected with COVID-19 as of Wednesday.
Prior to release of the new numbers Wednesday, Maria Grimaldo led a protest of about a dozen people outside the facility, demanding it take better care of its residents.
“Light needed to be shined on Windsor’s practices pre-COVID, but now it’s more of a driving force for me,” she said.
Grimaldo’s 86-year-old grandmother, who is a resident at Windsor, has tested positive for COVID-19.
“My grandma would be left in her own feces, we would have to fight them just to give her a blanket. Sometimes she wouldn’t get dinner until 8 p.m. at night,” Grimaldo said.
She said her grandmother is receiving more attention and care after being moved to the part of the building reserved for COVID-19 positive residents.
“She shouldn’t have to get COVID-19 to receive better care,” Grimaldo added.
Grimaldo blamed the staff at Windsor for infecting her grandmother with COVID-19.
“How did she get it? She’s been in a segregated part of the building since the third week in April,” Grimaldo said.
When asked, Grimaldo believes the problems at the facility start at the management level, which then trickles down to the staff who “lack bedside manner.”
“Prison inmates get treated better,” Grimaldo said.
Grimaldo said she will continue to protest outside the facility, which is located at 2200 Tuolumne St., every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Attempts to reach Windsor staff were unsuccessful.
Reached for comment on Wednesday, Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan said the city has no jurisdiction over the skilled nursing facility. However, he did say the city is working with the county to monitor the situation.
Due to the loss of so many employees to COVID-19, Kaiser Permanente has begun providing care for Windsor residents, according to a joint statement from Senior Vice President/Area Manager Nor Jemjemian, and Chris Walker, physician-in-chief for Kaiser Permanente’s Napa Solano Area
“The health and safety of our patients, staff, and the community is our priority. We recognize that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and we are doing everything we can to keep our members, staff and communities as safe as possible,” they said. “We are deeply grateful to our medical teams, staff, and employees who are expertly and compassionately caring for and protecting our members, patients, communities, and each other.”
It wasn’t immediately known what type of staffing is assisting at Windsor.
County officials began testing residents and health care workers in late April after the facility reported nearly a dozen residents had been infected with Coronavirus. That initial number doubled ballooned to 76 residents infected in early May. At that time, there weren’t any reported deaths.
VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — A coronavirus outbreak at an North Bay nursing facility is worsening.
Eleven patients are now dead at the Windsor Vallejo Care Center.
In total, 127 people, mostly residents of the nursing home, have been infected in the last two weeks.
“His suffering is over, his suffering is over.”
That is the aunt of William Bennett III who died Wednesday night at the Sutter Solano hospital. The 31-year-old stroke victim was the 11th resident of the Windsor Vallejo Care Center to die due to COVID-19 so far.
96 residents and 31 staff members there have tested positive for the virus.
Bennett’s aunt says she’s been trying to move the father of two out of the care center even before the virus took hold because of the conditions there.
“Personally I would like Windsor to be shut down,” she said. “That’s my prayer. As you walk up and down the hallways, the patients are sitting outside looking so nasty and so somber like it smelled like I can’t even explain to you.”
It’s a skilled nursing home that was already having problems. An April inspection by the department of health and human services found 23 health citations and gave it a rating of much below average.
“I’m praying she is still negative.”
That’s the granddaughter of Maria Goza, an 86-year-old resident of the nursing home who was tested again for the virus Thursday.
Her family says the Alzheimer’s patient has been neglected and mistreated there — and fear the care center has been understaffed and overwhelmed as COVID-19 has taken hold.
“Windsor needs to dig a little deeper into their pockets and bring in relief for these poor nursing staff,” she said. “I don’t believe that’s happening and I base that on my grandma being left in a soiled diaper for four hours.”
A statement from the Windsor Vallejo Care Center says they can’t address complaints made by residents or their families because of privacy concerns, but they say they are being hyper vigilant in taking every recommended safety measure to minimize the continued spread of the virus.
In addition to the Solano County Public Health having staff on the ground there, the state has also sent an infection control strike team to the care center to help assess for exposures and monitor the outbreak.
VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — There’s been a third coronavirus death and more positive cases among residents at the Windsor Vallejo Care Center.
That means there are now 103 confirmed infected cases at that nursing home.
KRON4’s Maureen Kelly talked to the family of a patient who’s now in ICU because of the virus.
“They thought he would not make it to the through the night,” the aunt of William Bennett III said.
She said the 31-year-old COVID positive patient is now out of Windsor Vallejo Care Center and in ICU at Sutter Solano.
“He coded twice and they put the incubator in and the feeding tube,” she said. “And today they thought he was gonna be brain dead or have some brain issue, but today he recognize a doctor he opened up his eyes.”
Bennett has been living at the nursing home for over a year after suffering a series of strokes and being diagnosed with a rare blood disorder.
He is one of 80 residents who have tested positive at the facility over the last two weeks — three have died. 23 staff members have have also been infected.
His aunt had him moved to a room near a window so she and other family members could check on him. She said she was worried about him and wanted him hospitalized because he seemed lethargic.
“We knew he needed to be out of there,” she said.
He was transported by ambulance a few hours after her concerns were aired on KRON4 News.
It’s a skilled nursing home that was already having problems.
A medicare inspection report from the Department of Health and Human Services from April 12 found 23 health citations. Including one which found that the facility failed to ensure that the infection control principals were being followed. It was given a rating of much below average.
“You need to be mindful of people who cannot do for themselves,” she said. “And if you don’t have the compassion for it then you’re in the wrong business.”
A Windsor Vallejo Care Center issued a statement this week that staff are constantly getting updated training on best practices in regard to infection control and that they adhering to all federal and state recommendations to minimize the spread of this virus.
Bennet’s aunt says the doctors hope to wean him from the ventilator over the next two days. She says when her nephew is out of hospital, he will not be going back to that nursing home.