At least one resident has died from the novel coronavirus and multiple other residents and employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Pleasanton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as part of an outbreak that appears to have surfaced this month.
Based on data released by the state and reports from the community, there were 18 confirmed cases among Pleasanton Nursing and Rehab residents and 30 cases among employees as of Sunday. No employees had died from the virus to date.
It is unclear when the resident death (or deaths) occurred but state data earlier in the week did not appear to report any deaths related to COVID-19 at Pleasanton Nursing and Rehab.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has reported other positive cases, but no other deaths, at skilled nursing facilities in the Tri-Valley.
The Weekly has also learned that two employees at Sunrise of Pleasanton, a senior living center in town, recently tested positive for COVID-19 but all resident tests have come back negative so far this month.
And newly reported data from federal officials offered a glimpse into the totality of the COVID-19 impacts -- nearly 40 cases -- at the Livermore Community Living Center for military veterans, where one resident died from the virus earlier in the year.
COVID-19 data on skilled nursing facilities come from the state, as CDPH is solely responsible for tracking and reporting this data. The Alameda County Public Health Department, as part of its coronavirus dashboard, shares what the state reports in this category.
In Alameda County, the state has reported 828 confirmed cases in skilled nursing facilities and 98 deaths due to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic.
These facilities accounted for more than 40% of the county's COVID-19 death total to date.
ACPHD reported 234 deaths and 16,723 positive cases overall during the pandemic, as of Sunday's data. That includes 721 confirmed cases in Livermore, 330 in Pleasanton and 198 in Dublin.
With regard to skilled nursing facilities, CDPH only reports an exact number of cases or deaths if a facility has more than 10 on record -- otherwise it is tracked as "less than 11," with no precise number as a "de-identification" strategy.
CDPH only reports case data for skilled nursing facilities and not other communal living centers without a nursing function. So facilities such as the Livermore CLC or Sunrise as well as other senior facilities are not part of the CDPH data.
According to the state, CreekView Skilled Nursing in Pleasanton and Mocho Park Care Center in Livermore have both had at least one resident case and at least one employee case, with zero COVID-19 deaths, as of Sunday.
Silver Oak Manor in Livermore and The Vineyards Healthcare Center in Livermore each had at least one employee case on record with no deaths.
Skilled nursing facilities have been of particular concern throughout the pandemic given the close quarters and pre-existing medical conditions of resident patients.
In Alameda County, an early outbreak at Gateway Care and Rehabilitation in Hayward claimed the life of a local elected official among its victims. Marshall Mitzman, who represented Area 1 on the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Board of Trustees, died from the virus on April 14.
Pleasanton Nursing and Rehab
Located on Neal Street several blocks away from downtown, Pleasanton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is a multi-room skilled nursing facility operated by Generations Healthcare.
CDPH reported as of Sunday that the facility has had "less than 11" resident deaths related to COVID-19, which would indicate at least one and up to 10. The exact number as well as the date of death(s) have not been confirmed.
Pleasanton Nursing and Rehab has also had 18 other confirmed cases among residents, according to the state, and community reports indicate that is multiple residents. The center has had 30 confirmed employee cases (no deaths) to date.
Generations Healthcare has not responded to a request for comment about the Pleasanton Nursing and Rehab outbreak.
On its website, the company did list general information about its coronavirus response, stating, "At this time, based on current information related to local cases of COVID-19, we are restricting all visitors, except when medically necessary or for patients in the active end of life stage. Your adherence to and support of this temporary restriction on visitors is greatly appreciated. We will be updating you regularly on this restriction."
The Livermore Community Living Center, which is part of Palo Alto VA Health Care System and recorded one of the Tri-Valley's first confirmed deaths from COVID-19 earlier in the pandemic, had 37 cases on record as of the end of July, according to the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department.
Total cases for the facility -- including active and recovered -- as of that time were 18 veteran residents and 19 employees. There had still been only the one COVID-19-related death for the Livermore CLC as of that time.
The exact timeframe for the string of cases at the Livermore CLC, as well as information about the resident who died, have not been released. But as of the end of July, the most recent positive test result was received on July 13, according to the VA.
Veteran residents who tested positive were transferred to the VA hospital in Palo Alto for care, while employees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms were immediately isolated, according to VA officials.
"Currently, all Livermore CLC residents and staff are tested for COVID-19 every seven days," officials said. "Our Employee Occupational Health team is assisting in tracking employee movements within the CLC to prevent further spread of the disease. This 'track and trace' approach is an infection control and prevention standard operating procedure any time we identify a staff member who tests positive."
Anyone who enters the Livermore CLC is screened for COVID-19, and the facility has a universal masking policy for all staff and residents.
The state does not consider the Livermore CLC to be a skilled nursing facility, so its data is not reported on the CDPH website.
Sunrise of Pleasanton
An assisted living and memory care facility for seniors, Sunrise of Pleasanton is located on Pleasant Hill Road and the corner of the Foothill Road-Stoneridge Drive intersection.
The facility, which also is not deemed a skilled nursing center, has had two employees test positive for COVID-19 in the past couple of weeks but all resident tests have come back negative so far this month, according to emails sent to Sunrise residents' family members that have been obtained by the Weekly.
Sunrise had one resident case early in the pandemic back in March, but the Weekly has not learned of any other confirmed cases in the time since.
Then on Aug. 11, executive director Melissa Malek informed families that an unidentified team member received a positive COVID-19 test two days earlier.
All employees and residents were tested on Aug. 15, and that round of tests yielded one more positive test in a different employee (assigned to assisted living, not the "Reminiscence" or "Terrace Club" wards of Sunrise) who was asymptomatic and sent home for isolation, according to Malek. All residents and every other employee tested negative. Another round of mass testing was scheduled for this Saturday.
"I want to assure you that we are continuously reinforcing our safety precautions with our team members," the Sunrise executive told families. "Our teams are equipped with PPE and are using it properly to minimize the spread of infection. In fact, due to a recent recommendation by the CDC, we have added face shields in addition to masks when Care Managers are providing direct care in resident rooms."
"In this time of unprecedented challenges and fast-evolving news and health updates, we are committed to keeping an open dialogue with you regarding important community updates," she added.