California News

California Did Not Test State Inspectors Who Were Visiting Nursing Homes For Coronavirus

San Diego Tribune-


Since early in the COVID-19 pandemic, California health officials have required nursing homes to bar entry to outsiders who might bring the coronavirus in with them and trigger a deadly outbreak among the elderly, vulnerable residents.

As a result, aging parents haven’t seen their families in months. Many have died without a final embrace from the people they loved.

But despite requiring routine testing of residents and employees, there’s one group California health officials have knowingly sent from nursing home to nursing home without first testing them for the lethal virus: state inspectors.

Interviews with eight registered nurses working as inspectors for the California Department of Public Health — all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation — revealed that the department has not provided coronavirus testing for the very people it is sending to make sure facilities comply with rules on infection control.

The inspectors said they are exposed to the virus on an almost daily basis and could easily be spreading the disease. One said she came down with a bad cough and tested positive for COVID-19 soon after visiting more than a dozen nursing homes in two days.

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