HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — Amid an ongoing investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney into the deadly coronavirus outbreak at a Hayward nursing home that has left over a dozen dead, health officials on Thursday confirmed a new COVID-19 case.
The Alameda County Public Heath Department reports 42 patients at Gateway Care and Rehab in Hayward have tested positive. So far, 13 residents have died from the virus. The facility says they have roughly 65 residents there. The county says 26 workers are also infected.
The situation has gotten so dire the Alameda County Health Department is asking the state to investigate what’s going on inside. County health officer Doctor Erica Pan said they’re having a hard time getting information and daily updates from staff members.
The state has the power to intervene and take over Gateway if necessary. Pan said the state sent an agent to inspect the skilled nursing home on Wednesday. She is waiting for the inspection report.
On Thursday, KPIX 5 talked to a patient who’s currently a patient at Gateway. The bed-ridden patient didn’t want KPIX 5 to release her name for fear of retaliation.
The patient said the staffing level is very low, just one nursing assistant working on her side of the building. Before the outbreak, she said they would typically have four nursing assistants.
She said she can’t get any physical therapy and no shower for her in about four weeks. They’ve been using web towels to clean her while she’s in bed. She’s hoping the state will send in help.
“It’s just scary because they won’t help me get up. And then, I guess I’m worried about my body, like my back is hurting, my arms and my legs. Like I said, muscles are not being used,” said the woman, who is there for physical rehabilitation to regain her strength so she can go home.
“We don’t — again, per your other question — have the authority to take over, nor do we have the resources to take over. I think we’ve working as well as we can as a county to ask them about their requests in what they need for personal protective equipment and staffing,” said Dr. Pan.
The county health department said they can only provide support and guidance.
The Alameda County District Attorney has launched a criminal investigation into Gateway. The facility did not respond back to KPIX 5 for comment on recent developments.