Coronavirus Crisis: Pacifica nursing home pegged as COVID-19 'hot spot' struggling to access testing kits

PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- A major testing shortage is hitting one of the most at-risk skilled nursing facilities in the Bay Area.

Pacifica Nursing & Rehab Center has been pegged by senior officials as a "hot spot" for cases of COVID-19.

Sources close to the ABC7 I-Team confirm the facility had 13 positive cases.

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The city's mayor, Deirdre Martin, is pleading with county leaders for more immediate testing.

"If people aren't smart today, your neighbor will die tomorrow," said Martin who's concerned about the future of the facility.

"They are our vulnerable population, ensuring that they have access to tests not just today, but ongoing," Martin said.

Although, testing capabilities across the state are extremely scarce.

A recent ABC7 data analysis ranked California 46th in the nation for COVID-19 testing. According to the report released Friday, a mere 515 corona virus tests are administered per one million people.

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The struggle is seen not just in hospitals, but nursing homes like the Pacifica facility caring for vulnerable patients.

The ABC7 I-Team reached out to the facility, who couldn't confirm the cases, but did release this statement:

"When we learned of the coronavirus threat, we responded by applying our plans and protocols for infection control and adding new layers of precautionary action to fight the spread of COVID-19."

Administrators confirmed on March 11, patients were self-isolated to follow required social distancing guidelines.

But, it's unclear if the healthcare workers exposed to infected patients were able to get tested.

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"I'm trusting that all facilities are following their infectious disease outbreak plans," Martin said. "We need access to tests that are not drive-through facilities."

Neighboring business owners like Josh Kizler hope for the same.

"It's frightening, I mean if they need help, they should get it... it's one of the most fragile communities in there," Kizler said.

Martin confirmed all patients who tested positive at Pacifica Nursing and Rehab Center are out of the facility and being cared for elsewhere. It's unclear how many other patients could have been exposed.

In the meantime, Verily, the drive-through test site in San Mateo County is offering to help.

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