East Long Beach nursing facility confirms COVID-19 case

A resident at Pacific Palms Healthcare has tested positive for COVID-19, a staff member confirmed Thursday morning.

News of the infection at the East Long Beach skilled nursing facility was first reported by the Press Telegram. When reached by phone Thursday morning, a staff member deferred to a statement written by the facility’s administrator Lance Haering and posted to Pacific Palm’s website Wednesday.

“Since we learned of our first resident with a positive test for COVID-19, we have worked closely with Long Beach Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” Haering wrote. “On April 1st, we started working directly with Long Beach Public Health and the CDC.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if the resident is one of the two coronavirus cases Long Beach health officials said Wednesday that they were aware of at local skilled nursing and long-term care facilities.

It’s also unclear if the sick resident is hospitalized. The facility’s statement went on to say workers are following infection control best practices but did not say if any of the staff or residents were in quarantine.

A note posted on the facility’s website said that visitation to the center had been restricted to end-of-life situations only. However, it’s unclear when that rule was instituted by Pacific Palms. The staff member reached Thursday declined to answer questions outside of the information contained in Haering’s statement.

Under new measures instituted yesterday anyone who has COVID-19, is suspected of having it or has come into contact with someone who has it is required to quarantine even if they haven’t been tested or are asymptomatic.

Caregivers or other members of the staff who worked with the recently diagnosed resident would likely have to quarantine under the city’s new rules which allow the city to fine or even jail persons who do not take required precautions after knowingly being exposed to the disease.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post.
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