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January 25, 2021

Covid-19 outbreak at Watsonville Nursing Center grows to nearly 60 cases

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from an earlier version.

WATSONVILLE—Nearly four dozen residents of Watsonville Nursing Center have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a new outbreak at the local skilled nursing facility.

According to a post on its website, WNC Administrator Rae Ann Radford on Monday said there are currently 47 residents there that have tested positive. In addition, 11 employees have tested positive for Covid-19. Two residents are currently in the hospital.

Radford wrote in a post dated Dec. 26 that the facility was working with “sister facilities to secure additional staffing.” In the new post on Monday, she said that they “have been able to secure some additional staff from staffing agencies that will be starting [Tuesday].”

WNC reported on Dec. 19 that two residents and two employees had tested positive for Covid-19. Seven days later, the facility reported that 16 residents and six staff members were positive.

On Dec. 26, the facility reported that 31 residents and 10 employees had tested positive.

The residents that tested positive were moved to an “appropriate room” based on their test results and exposure, Radford wrote in a post a day before Christmas Eve.

“We will continue to proceed with response-driven testing for both residents and staff. We will continue monitoring all resident’s vital signs closely and will be in contact individually as needed,” the post on Dec. 23 read.

Neighboring Watsonville Post Acute Center, which is under the same ownership, on Dec. 23 reported that one staff member had tested positive but that no residents were infected.

That facility has not reported a positive case in a resident since mid-October, the tail end of a deadly outbreak that killed 16 and produced a lawsuit from one of the victim’s family. At the peak of the outbreak at WPAC, 50 residents and 20 staff members tested positive for Covid-19.

WNC has yet to report a Covid-19-related death.

The new outbreak came just days before California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state had opted into the federal Covid-19 Pharmacy Partnership.

At no cost to the state or local government, CVS and Walgreens will administer the Pfizer vaccine to residents and staff in long-term care facilities. Starting today, CVS and Walgreens will start with nursing homes, which will take an estimated 3-4 weeks, and then vaccinate staff and residents in assisted living, residential care and other long-term care facilities.

“Vaccinating those most vulnerable among us is critical to fighting this virus,” Newsom said in a press release. “By leveraging CVS and Walgreens resources, we can effectively deploy vaccines to residents and staff at our long-term care facilities, which are at higher risk of Covid transmission—and do it at no cost to the state or local government.”

Skilled nursing facilities will receive vaccines from staff from CVS and Walgreens. Approximately 499 nursing homes will be provided vaccines by CVS and 357 by Walgreens. The vaccines will be administered by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and nurses.

Tony Nuñez
Tony Nuñez
Managing Editor Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor for five years before entering his current role in 2019. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus, he covers the city, business, housing, entertainment and more.

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