Numerous ambulances arrived at ManorCare Health Services, a skilled nursing care facility in Palm Desert, Wednesday at around noon. Riverside County officials confirmed patients from an evacuated nursing facility in Riverside were moved to the Palm Desert facility.
At around noon, there were at least nine ambulances right outside the facility, with seven more on the way, a News Channel 3 crew was told at the scene.
News Channel 3's Caitlin Thropay saw patients being brought into the facility on stretchers.
A ManorCare spokesperson sent a statement to News Channel 3:
"ManorCare Health Services – Palm Desert was contacted to help assist with displaced skilled nursing facility residents. We took this request very seriously and met with our clinical and medical team before making any decision. Our team is committed to helping the community in any way we can.
At this time, none of the residents have tested positive to COVID-19. However, realizing that this is a monumental challenge to ask of our staff and acknowledging that the frail and elderly are especially susceptible to any virus, we are acting out of an abundance of caution and putting into place our isolation measures and precautions to meet this need. We have built isolation units with their own entrances to help care for newly admitted patients without interfering with other parts of the center. These precautions will ensure the safest possible environment for our employees and patients."
These patients were among 84 people evacuated from Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Riverside. This comes after employees did not show up to care for the sick patients for two days in a row.
The county said there were 34 known coronavirus cases found among the residents and an additional five cases reported among employees. There are no pending test results for the approximate 90-bed facility.
County officials confirmed just before 5:00 p.m. Wednesday that 55 patients had been transported at that time. Twenty-three patients remain to be moved.
Of those patients who have been transported:
- 28 patients were sent to the federal medical station established at the county fairgrounds in Indio
- 15 patients are now at Manor Care in Palm Desert
- 5 patients are at hospitals in the Riverside area
- 7 patients were sent to Riverside University Health System Medical Center
Riverside University Public Health System officials said in a statement that the patients would be moved to other healthcare locations throughout Riverside County.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.