I-TEAM: 'I'm in fear for my life,' says Bay Area nursing home patient who's concerned about re-exposure to COVID-19

BURLINGAME, Calif. (KGO) -- "I'm in fear for my life," said Eric Love, a patient of Burlingame Skilled Nursing. "I see everyday that people are dying in nursing homes."

The ABC7 News I-Team is looking into the risk of COVID-19 re-exposure in our most vulnerable communities: nursing homes.

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According to Love and a current staff member, one resident and one health care provider tested positive for COVID-19 at Burlingame Skilled Nursing.

The facility confirmed to ABC7 there are no longer any positive cases of COVID-19, but previously had three.

"There's still people walking around without masks, coughing and sneezing," he said.

Love is concerned if infected patients return to the facility others will get exposed. But the facility told ABC7 they're diligently working to follow CDC guidelines and protocols to keep residents safe.

"Senior facilities are very nervous," said San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine.

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Pine and his colleagues are concerned the risk of re-exposure will impact nursing home facilities that don't have appropriate resources.

"Not every home can segregate a person who has an infection," Pine said.

Of the 17 skilled-nursing facilities in the county, five have been chosen to accommodate COVID-19 patients returning from the hospital.

"Is five facilities going to be enough?" ABC7's Stephanie Sierra asked. "That's a good question, we'll have to wait and see," said Pine.

ABC7 asked Pine about a backup plan if the five allocated skilled-nursing facilities get overwhelmed.

"I would imagine we would try to identify skilled-nursing facilities that could accommodate seniors with COVID-19."

Roughly 7,600 people are living in senior homes across San Mateo County. 1,600 of which require specialized care, like Love who has pre-existing conditions.

Burlingame Skilled Nursing told ABC7 they will continue providing the best care possible to their patients and support for their staff.

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