Concern for Nursing Home Residents after Local Evacuation

Concern for Nursing Home Residents after Local Evacuation

Nico Payne

We are learning more about the evacuation of a nursing home in Riverside. On Wednesday over 80 patients had to be transported to nearby local facilities after employees stopped showing up to work.

Health officials tell NBC Palm Springs that all residents had been transferred as of Wednesday evening. Now some are questioning how something like this happens and what happens moving forward?

Officials also explained that this is not something that happened overnight, a series of events led to the decision to evacuate the nursing facility. And now another concern arises, should loved ones be taken out of nursing homes to avoid infection?

Emergency officials explained that as Dr. Cameron Kaiser ordered to evacuate residents, many local agencies were alerted.

“This includes notifications to the healthcare system and public safety agency partners such as you see standing behind me, medical facilities and ambulance providers were notified and pulled for resource availability,” explained Bruce Barton, Director of Riverside County Emergency Management Department.

The decision for the evacuation came after only one staff member showed up for work.

“A young lady came up to me, she was a nurse, she was reporting to work, she said there were discussions in the facility about how afraid they were. in part because the just didn’t know what was happening,” said Jose Arballo Jr. Senior Public Information Specialist with Riverside County.

“She said that they were afraid, she didn’t say that’s why they didn’t show up, she just said they were afraid and that she was there to report to work. She understood that it was scary but she was also was very concerned about being moved,” added Arballo.

Riverside County Health Officials have not advised people to remove their loved ones from assisted care, but say that decision is up to the family.

“One of the things you have to consider is everything from, do you have the capability at home to care for these people? What if they have a specialized need like a catheter or some other mechanism that they need? If you have other loved ones at home, who could be a health hazard for the patient,” explained Arballo.

Officials also explained that some residents were taken home by family members, which is their right to do, the remaining residents opted to allow the transfer to take place.