HAYWARD (CBS SF) – The city of Hayward said it is providing coronavirus testing of nursing home residents and employees by dispatching mobile teams of specifically-trained firefighter-paramedics from its COVID-19 Testing Center and doing tests at the center itself.

The testing is taking place in coordination with the Alameda County Department of Public Health and has been taking place the past three weeks after the Hayward Fire Department launched the testing center on March 22.

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The city said it’s disclosing the testing activity to provide the public with greater awareness of its role in responding to the COVID-19 disease in nursing homes, both in Hayward and beyond.

As of late last week, 13 residents of the Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hayward had died from the coronavirus and an additional 42 residents and 26 staff members had tested positive.

Updated numbers weren’t immediately available Thursday.

In addition, one resident of the East Bay Post-Acute Healthcare Center in Castro Valley had died of the coronavirus, with an additional 25 residents and 23 staff members testing positive.

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“On behalf of our city government, I want to say we are heartbroken by the infections, suffering and deaths of nursing home residents and employees in Hayward, and all over the region, state and country,” Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday said in a statement.

“One important thing our city staff has been able to do is offer our testing capability to long-term care facilities throughout Hayward and in other areas of Alameda County to help county health officials slow the rate of new infections,” Halliday said.

The testing has taken place at seven nursing homes as well as at the Hayward COVID-19 Testing Center, which is now located at California State University East Bay.

In addition to providing COVID-19 testing, Hayward firefighter-paramedics respond to 911 medical emergency calls at nursing homes and securely share critical care information with county authorities while maintaining the privacy of residents and staff, the city said.

Hayward officials said they don’t publicly disclose the specific nursing homes or information on infection rates of residents and workers where COVID-19 testing is conducted.

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