Marina Pointe COVID-19 Cases

On Saturday, April 18th, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released a list of facilities in the county with reported cases of COVID-19, which includes hospitals, nursing homes and even prisons. One of the hardest hit, a nursing home on Sunset Boulevard called Brier Oaks, recorded nearly 150 cases in the heart of Hollywood.

In the Heart of Screenland, Marina Pointe Healthcare and Subacute on Sepulveda Boulevard has reported that four people – a nurse and three patients – contracted COVID-19. At the outset of reporting this story, the cases listed were two, and officials said that the two recovered weeks ago and are healthy. Officials also said they did not know how either person contracted the virus. That was last Thursday, April 23, 2020. Since then, the number of patients infected has gone from one to three.

Looking at other facilities across the county, the situation at Marina Pointe could quickly become crucial. Nursing homes have been hit hard by the pandemic, with cases typically spreading like wildfire after the first infection.

“Right now we’re deploying on every emergency call as if each patient has the potential of being infected,” Assistant Fire Chief Kenneth Powell said. The Fire Department supports senior living and nursing facilities by making sure social distancing measures are in place, and that seniors are equipped with face masks. “They have more potential of acquiring [COVID-19] through exposure, especially those that may have underlying medical issues,” Powell said.

There are 116 rooms at Marina Pointe, but it is unclear how many people reside there. According to Marina Pointe’s website, they “specialize in providing rehabilitation services on site to help our residents regain their independence and return home.” Marina Pointe refused to answer follow-up questions from the Culver City Crossroads.

The Fire Department visits nursing care facilities two to three times a week, and the Community Risk Reduction division makes contact with the facilities daily by phone.

“Our Fire Department paid very close attention to [initial reports of the virus], and very quickly began its own protocol of checking in with our senior living facilities,” said City Council member Meghan Sahli-Wells.

Culver City has overall reported lower numbers than other westside cities, with the total count being 58 at the time of reporting. Santa Monica has counted 156 cases, while Palms reports 101 cases. Inglewood, to the south, has 290 cases. The data, however, is hard to rely on. In neighboring Playa del Rey, for instance, only one person is listed as having contracted the virus. On the list of healthcare facilities, however, Playa del Rey Center has reported 40 cases, including five deaths.

The reason for Culver City’s lower infection rate is hard to pin down, but many around the world have applauded California’s quick response to the virus by being one of the first states to implement stay at home orders. Still, Los Angeles cases are growing quickly, and have swelled to over 20,000, with deaths over 1,000.

“The thing that we’re really watching for is temperature this weekend,” said Sahli-Wells. “As the temperature begins to increase, we want to make sure that our Seniors are being hydrated, that they’re staying cool, that they’re not over exerting themselves.” She strongly urged against complacency, especially as flowers begin to blossom and the weather becomes hard to resist.

“The city can be prepared as possible, but if people are not following public health recommendations, we’re going to be slammed,” she said.

Elizabeth Moss

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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