VALLEJO, Calif. – At the Windsor Vallejo Care Center, 76 patients and 23 health workers have now tested positive for COVID-19.
Of those 99 cases, one of those patients is 64-year-old Joseph Quirarte of Pacifica.
He’s had both legs amputated because of diabetes. Now he has tested positive for the cornavirus.
His two children, including a son, an army staff sergeant stationed in Germany, are worried and frustrated.
“It’s a helpless feeling. I want to help, but I am on a separate continent,” said Sgt, Joe Quirarte Jr. from his base in Germany.
Daughter Maria Quirarte lives closer to the facility, but like all family members of nursing home patients, is not allowed to visit.
“We’re worried the COVID is in his system and we don’t know how his body is going to react. We are trying to be cautious and make sure he gets his meds on time,” she said.
The virus has hit the facility like an avalanche. On Friday there were 34 cases reported. Now it has almost tripled.
Solano County Public Health said it is working closely with the facility to manage the outbreak.
Quirarte’s family said his father had two roommates who also tested positive and were moved to another room, for which they are grateful.
“He’s had two amputated legs and a toilet that wasn’t working. He has since been moved from that room,” said Maria.
“You see the news stories about other facilities and just hope it won’t happen to your parent’s facility,” said Joe Jr.
State public health records show Windsor Vallejo was cited for improper infection control practices in March 2019.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the facility a rating of two stars out of five, base on health inspections and overall quality.
“Crucially, regulators have often given infection control pretty short shrift in terms of prioritizing inspections. And we are paying for it now,” says Michael Dark of the non-profit California. Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
To the Quirartes, the health care staff seems overwhelmed.
“We want to make sure they get the help they need to help our father, and others,” said Maria.
Management of Windsor Vallejo did not respond to our messages.