Coronavirus outbreak: 10 residents die at Redwood City nursing home as result of COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Ten residents at Gordon Manor assisted living facility in Redwood City have passed away as a result of novel coronavirus.

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Facility director Alisa Mallari Tu says at least 10 residents have died from the novel coronavirus or from complications related to it. Roughly 10 other residents and seven staff members have tested positive in recent weeks.

"Caring for them has been a real privilege and I want to continue to do that as best I can under these conditions," said Mallari Tu.

Former Stanford president, Donald Kennedy, who also served as head of the FDA under President Jimmy Carter, was perhaps the facility's most well-known resident. He died earlier this week from COVID-19, which was devastating to Mallari Tu, as a Stanford alum herself.

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"What he prepared for me back when I was a kid, I could give back to him here at the end of his life and I'm incredibly honored to have known him," said Mallari Tu.

New data reveals more than 5,400 residents and employees at assisted living facilities across California have contracted COVID-19, and of those, more than 530 people have died.

"It's really hard to contain these outbreaks in these facilities because of the fact that these residents require a lot of personal assistance," said Dr. Marina Martin, chief of geriatric medicine at Stanford's School of Medicine, who called Gordon Manor one of the area's top facilities for those suffering from dementia. "It's very hard for these residents to be removed from the one place they're really comfortable with people who know them well and have been caring for them for a long time."

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The San Mateo Department of Public Health is now embedded at the facility to help mitigate the infection and to fill in for workers who have called out sick.

"In this pandemic, our ability to connect with each other and ability to be with each other is impaired by the masks, the PPE, the distance, (and) the contagion," said Mallari Tu. "Every single one of us is having trouble adjusting."

Here's a statement from Gordon Manor:

"We are emotionally devastated by the reality of coronavirus in our community and in the many other senior and group communities like ours. We are grieving the loss of our ability to celebrate birthdays together, dance and sing together, and share our meals together. Our sole purpose through this extremely difficult time is to focus all of our efforts on the well-being of our beloved residents and their dear families, as well as our incredibly dedicated and courageous staff members who bravely, every day and every night, come in to work to care for our residents."

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