"They were caring for some patients and there were some questions that came up and one of the staff members at that time pointed out to them the facility had been closed since Thursday," deputy fire chief Dave Rocha said. Rocha added that the workers showed the captain a closure sign posted on a door.
Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson has said the patients were being cared for by two unpaid staff members — a cook and a janitor — when deputies arrived. Despite the criticism on why the workers didn't notify authorities earlier that the care center was ordered closed, Nelson said two workers valiantly tried to take care of the workers for nearly three days.
"It wasn't completely terrible, but as a care home it is not what you would expect. We had some patients that certainly had not been cared for in a manner that you would expect in a care home, people that were soiled," Nelson said. "And the guys who were still working there didn't have the ability to take care of it. It just overwhelmed them."
Attorney Orrin Grover said Wednesday that the patients were being cared for as the facility's operators, Herminigilda "Hilda" N. Manuel and Mary Julleah N. Manuel, were making arrangements to transfer them to other sites. Grover said the remaining employees at the site, the cook and janitor in question, also works as a care giver.
"We feel like the residents were not abandoned," Grover said.