RIVERSIDE, Calif. — In the months before county health officials ordered the evacuation of COVID-19-plagued Magnolia Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, the facility’s employees complained of bounced checks. It sat on a list of the nation’s worst nursing homes for health and safety violations.
But when announcing the unprecedented evacuation of Magnolia’s 83 remaining patients last week, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s health officer, singled out the nursing home’s staff― after only one of its 13 certified nursing assistants showed up for a scheduled shift the previous day.
All health care workers in the age of COVID-19 are heroes, Kaiser said, but “implicit in that heroism is that they stay in their post.” The state licensing board may yet determine that the no-shows at Magnolia, where 34 patients and 16 employees had tested positive for the virus, “rise to the level of abandonment,” he told reporters.
Magnolia’s employees are now struggling