Kern County public health officials on Friday confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak at a Bakersfield nursing home that has infected 16 residents and 25 staff members.
It was unclear whether any of the 41 who were living or working at 184-bed Kingston Healthcare Center, located at 329 Real Road, have required hospitalization or died.
A receptionist at the nursing home referred questions to a corporate email address whose intended recipient did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The outbreak is the first publicly confirmed in Kern County, where public health officials have released relatively few details about local COVID-19 cases.
The outbreak-confirmation email suggested the statement was released in response to a specific inquiry from KGET-TV 17.
The county said it met with all local skilled nursing facilities in February to help them prepare for the pandemic. It said topics of instruction included patient intake, sanitization, visitations and group eating.
"We had a follow-up meeting with all skilled nursing facilities in mid-April and re-reviewed all of the prior topics, as well as the proper use of PPE (personal protective equipment)," the Kern County Public Health Services Department said in a news release Friday afternoon.
It said the county has been in communication with the California Department of Public Health and that it confirmed the cases.
"Given the number of positive cases within such a vulnerable population, Kern County Public Health has been in routine communication with CDPH and Kingston regarding the situation," the release stated.
It said the county health department has taken these steps at Kingston, which the agency referred to as Kingston Nursing Home:
● Daily, on-site assessments and support to the state health department on measures for protecting residents and slowing COVID-19's spread.
● Helping staff the facility with volunteer workers; it said at least two local volunteers will be on-site help care for patients and one Kern County Emergency Medical Services provider has been helping cover staffing shortages.
● Delivering protective equipment and testing supplies and training staff how to use it properly.