Several ambulances arrived at ManorCare Health Services in Palm Desert Wednesday where patients were dropped off after being evacuated from a nursing home in Riverside earlier in the day. The Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center moved 86 patients to new locations because a large number of staff members did not show up to work for two days in a row after news that 34 residents and 5 staff members tested positive for coronavirus.
According to Riverside University Health System officials, the system and Kaiser Permanente sent 33 licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses to care for the residents after only one of the facility’s nursing assistants showed up to work.
RUHS spokesman Jose Arballo said “The county stepped in and staffed it (Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center) for a day and a half, and that was not sustainable. So Dr. Cameron Kaiser, our county health officer, decided to evacuate the facility and move the patients to locations that are fully staffed and safe for them.”
Riverside County Public Information Specialist Yaoska Machado tells NBC Palm Springs that 15 residents were taken to ManorCare, 2 residents went home with their families and the rest were taken to the temporary field hospital at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. The 15 residents taken to ManorCare all tested negative for the virus. A ManorCare patients daughter says the facility assured her they would not take anyone who tested positive.
County officials also said that since 86 patients is a large number, they decided to move the patients to multiple facilities. They organized to move them to the most appropriate facility based on their level of care.