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Two Bakersfield senior living centers deal with illness outbreak

KBAK/KBFX photo

Two senior living centers in Bakersfield are taking precautions, after several residents have come down with flu-like symptoms. On Tuesday, the Kern County Public Health Department confirmed to Eyewitness News that they are dealing with cases of norovirus.

A spokesman from Carriage House Estates on Westwold Drive said the illnesses were first reported on April 30, and several residents have been sick. Brian Fawkes said the facility immediately closed the dining room, and hand-delivered meals to their 126 residents.

They also stopped all activities and started a deep cleaning.

"We're on the down swing of the situation now," Fawkes told Eyewitness News by phone on Tuesday afternoon.

He said they try to minimize contact with those affected, because they don't want to spread the illness.

Brookdale is next to Carriage House, and it's also dealing with an outbreak.

"Last week, several residents and associates at this community had reported stomach flu-like symptoms," spokeswoman Heather Hunter said in an email statement, "it is our practice to take proactive measures to prevent the possible spread of such ailments."

She said out of an "abundance of caution" Brookdale closed the dining room and suspended activities.

County Public Health spokeswoman Michelle Corson said the department has been in contact with both facilities. She said both are taking steps to sanitize the facilities and isolate patients. She said norovirus is considered very contagious, and there is concern with patients who are elderly.

She described the illness as flu-like, with stomach and intestinal symptoms.

Brookdale will continue its precautions until all symptoms are gone.

And Fawkes, from Carriage House, said their facility will get back to normal after there have been two days with no new cases and symptoms reported, followed by three additional days.

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