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Dozens fall ill Friday at assisted living center, but no new outbreaks as of Sunday

Brookdale Senior Living in Bakersfield, Calif., is seen Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

An outbreak of illness hit the Brookdale Senior Living facility, 350 Calloway Drive, on Friday, sickening 32 residents.

Those who became ill suffered with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea, according to the Kern County Public Health Department.

“Six of the 32 were sent to the hospital initially and five have returned,” Michelle Corson, public relations officer for the Public Health Department, said. The sixth patient remained hospitalized on unrelated symptoms.

The good news, Corson said, is that no new cases have been reported since Sunday.

“We are continuing to work with the facility to figure out what happened,” she said. “We are in full investigation mode.”

Two environmental health specialists and two public health epidemiologists from the county are on-site investigating the situation, Corson said. The environment team looks at possible food-borne illness, while the epidemiologists look at disease-related causes.

The facility director implemented procedures beginning Friday to help combat the problem:

  • Stopped new admissions
  • Sent fliers to all residents
  • Deep cleaned the kitchen and dining areas
  • Interviewed residents
  • Conducted door-to-door wellness checks
  • Reported the incident to the California Department of Public Health licensing, which oversees this type of facility


“When 32 residents become ill, it does cause us concern,” Corson said. “We do not believe there is an ongoing threat, but are going to see through our investigation.”

She said that the Public Health Department is not prepared to name the cause of the outbreak until the investigation is complete.

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