SACRAMENTO – An elderly patient in a Northern California nursing home has died of the novel coronavirus, sparking fears of an outbreak among other residents of the facility and renewing concerns about statewide availability of testing kits to detect the virus.
Sacramento County health officials announced Tuesday that a patient in her 90s was the county’s first fatality from COVID-19. The Sacramento Bee identified the facility as Carlton Senior Living.
The woman was among about 140 patients of the facility in Elk Grove, the same suburb where all public schools were closed this week after two family members with students in multiple sites tested positive for the coronavirus. Monday, the district announced that an elementary-age student in that family had also tested positive.
Peter Beilenson, health director of Sacramento County, said Tuesday that all patients in the nursing home would be tested for the virus, but that effort was delayed by a lack of test kits. He said the county has access to only 20 tests per day, and is having to ration those between possible cases in the community and medical professionals who may have been exposed.