Kensington and hazmat

Redondo Beach Fire Department and paramedics, including someone in hazmat gear, respond to a call at Kensington assisted living facility in Redondo Beach on Sunday, March 22. (Photo by Dawn Quisenberry)

The Kensington assisted living facility, in Redondo Beach, will no longer provide updates on those who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, its spokeswoman has said.

This despite the newly opened 120-bed facility reporting last week that two residents and one staffer had tested positive for the virus, officially known as COVID-19. An additional 10 people have displayed symptoms, according to a Friday, March 20, letter sent to families, which The Beach Reporter obtained.

Over the last two days, ambulances, fire trucks and paramedics have arrived at Kensington. On Monday, residents sent around photos of first responders in hazmat gear. Still, the assisted living facility has begun referring media requests for updates on the positive novel coronavirus count there to the Los Angeles County Department of Health.

“We’re not allowed to give out any more information,” said Andrea Obston, president of a communications company representing Kensington.

Obston last week provided more details, in a statement, on the situation at Kensington:

  • Three people tested positive for COVID-19. One is a resident and two are staffers;
  • 13 more people are awaiting test results. Four of those are residents and nine are staffers; and
  • There are a total of seven people being treated and tested in the hospital. Of those, four are residents and three are staffers.

Los Angeles County public health officials have reported 536 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with seven deaths as of Monday. Roughly 80% of the cases were between the ages of 18 to 65 and 42% between the ages of 18 to 40.  About 17% or 90 people have been hospitalized.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the three positive COVID-19 Kensington cases were part of that countywide total, but Monday’s county numbers did include five Redondo Beach cases.

The county’s health department has yet to give specifics on the totals at Kensington. But, during Monday’s county press briefing, Barbara Ferrer, the public health director, said cases in senior centers such as Kensington have to be carefully vetted and that public health staff is on site there.

Kensington has set up a COVID-19 Support Line and a dedicated email account for family member questions and concerns.

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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