Update: COVID-19 death reported at skilled nursing facility in Berkeley

A state database reports COVID-19 deaths at two skilled nursing facilities in Berkeley, but one of them told Berkeleyside the information is wrong. Berkeleyside is seeking further information.

Elmwood Care Center in South Berkeley. Photo: Pete Rosos

Update, Tuesday, June 2: Chaparral House medical director Dr. Emily Birenbaum told Berkeleyside the state database is wrong and that “there have not been any COVID-related deaths at that facility.” Berkeleyside spoke to Chaparral House to learn more.

Original story: There have been deaths linked to COVID-19 at two skilled nursing facilities in Berkeley according to a state database, Berkeleyside has learned.

The city of Berkeley said it could not comment Monday about the fatality reports. The city has only publicly reported one death in Berkeley tied to COVID-19, of a resident in their 40s with underlying health conditions. No further information has been released about that individual.

Limited information was available Monday, but a reader pointed Berkeleyside to the state’s list of COVID-19 infections and deaths at skilled nursing facilities in the city. Those records show that each facility has had less than 11 deaths. The actual number of deaths was not specified due to medical privacy laws, but facilities with no deaths are listed as zero.


The deaths happened at Elmwood Care Center and Chaparral House, two of the city’s six skilled nursing and long-term care facilities for seniors, according to the state database. Berkeleyside had previously reported two infections at the Elmwood facility.

Together, the six sites include 418 residents and 297 staff members, according to the city.

No infections had been linked publicly to Chaparral House before today. Confusingly, the state database notes zero cumulative COVID-19 infections at the facility.

The state database also lists at least one COVID-19 infection of a health care worker at Kyakameena Care Center at some point. Statewide, more than 10,000 health care workers have been infected with COVID-19, at work or otherwise, and 60 of those cases have been fatal.


COVID-19 in Berkeley skilled nursing facilities. Image: CDPH

As of Monday, there had been 95 lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections in Berkeley.

Statewide, according to California Department of Public Health records, there have been about 9,700 COVID-19 cases in the state’s 1,224 skilled nursing facilities. About 1,800 of those patients have died.

Alameda County has 73 skilled nursing facilities, according to the state. Overall, there have been 261 COVID-19 cases linked to them. State records report fewer than 100 deaths in connection with these cases, but do not state the actual number of local fatalities.

In Alameda County, 172 health care workers have contracted COVID-19.

This story was updated shortly after publication to include additional context.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.