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Most Of The CA Nursing Homes With Coronavirus Outbreaks Already Had Prior Health Violations

Jennifer Newbery, 95, contracted COVID-19 while living at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica in Santa Monica, Calif. Her son Jorge Newbery, pictured here with his mother in 2017, lives in Chicago, and became alarmed when he saw her on a video call appearing listless, dehydrated and weak. He begged the nursing home to transfer her to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with both the virus and pneumonia. (Courtesy of Jorge Newbery)
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The coronavirus outbreak at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica has been worse than most, with 12 employees and 24 patients infected, including nine fatalities, according to the Los Angeles County health department .

The center is one of 198 nursing homes in California where at least one patient has contracted coronavirus, according to pubic health records.

But this isn't the nursing home's first time dealing with health and staffing issues. A Kaiser Health News analysis found that the Santa Monica facility had lower-than-average staffing levels and a record of not always following basic staffing and infection control rules, long before coronavirus hit the U.S.

Many other California nursing homes with outbreaks also had major health violations in their past; including nurses or aides not washing their hands or wearing protective clothing around potentially contagious patients.

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Kaiser Health News found that California nursing homes with coronavirus cases averaged 2.8 stars on Medicare's five-star overall quality rating, while other nursing homes averaged 3.5 stars.



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