Kei-Ai was instrumental in helping the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health develop and revise infection control guidance that was then recommended for other skilled nursing facilities.

March 3, 2021—LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—Kei-Ai Los Angeles Healthcare Center, a skilled nursing facility and one of the largest of its kind in Los Angeles County, reviewed today its proactive role in combating COVID-19 in the county. Over the past year, the facility has been a key partner with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in alleviating hospital surges. Further, the facility’s actions saved some hospitals from adopting crisis standards of care that would have led to much worse outcomes during the peak of the pandemic surge in Southern California in December 2020 and into the new year.

As of March 2, 2021, Kei-Ai’s aggressive testing has yielded 100 percent negative results of all patients and staff for three consecutive weeks running, coming on the heels of the most pervasive surge of infection throughout LA County and all of Southern California since the worldwide pandemic began.

Kei-Ai was one of the first facilities to implement strict infection control protocols in early 2020, like prohibiting nonessential visitors and requiring all employees to wear masks, before such protocols eventually became mandated by county and state public health officials. In April 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom required all skilled nursing facilities to accept patients who were infected with COVID-19, and Kei-Ai was one of the best-prepared facilities to do so after taking such a proactive approach to mitigate the spread of infection.

Kei-Ai is a three-floor facility, which enabled it to designate the entire third floor as a completely isolated, independent unit with no employee or patient crossover to the other floors. This setup allowed Kei-Ai to accept COVID-19 patients from desperately overcrowding hospitals and keep them contained on the separate floor, safely removed from all other facility patients. By partnering with LA County and the Los Angeles mayor’s office, Kei-Ai was given priority access to scarce COVID-19 testing kits and additional personal protective equipment in the early days of the pandemic. As a result, Kei-Ai was one of the first facilities in the nation to be able to consistently test all of its patients and staff on a weekly basis—a critical safety component.

Kei-Ai recognized the need to keep its community informed about the status of the facility. In addition to daily reports to local, state and federal health officials, Kei-Ai sent over 375 notifications to more than 19,055 recipients in the past year, totaling more than 104,000 text messages and telephone calls to patients, family members and staff to keep them fully apprised of the COVID-19 situation at the facility.

Even as one of the largest facilities in the county, Kei-Ai’s dedicated approach to infection control and safety enabled it to fare better than many facilities on a per capita basis and helped Kei-Ai endure most of the ongoing pandemic with almost no community spread of infections. Kei-Ai has helped provide much-needed therapy and rehabilitation to more than 1,000 patients since the pandemic began. All of Kei-Ai’s staff, residents and collective family nevertheless grieve with our entire community for those who have been negatively impacted by this unprecedented pandemic. 

“Facilities like Kei-Ai were instrumental in helping the department develop and revise infection control guidance that was then recommended for other skilled nursing facilities,” said Dr. Zachary Rubin, a member of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Acute Communicable Disease Control and Healthcare Outreach Unit. “This ultimately simplified managing the complexity of the recent COVID surge and vaccination rollout.”

In early January 2021, Kei-Ai successfully vaccinated 100 percent of all consenting patients and staff, being one of the first facilities to do so. Kei-Ai also helped vaccinate many individuals throughout the community, including unaffiliated facilities catering to the Japanese American community who otherwise would not have had access to the vaccine at such an early date. Kei-Ai will continue to do its part to support its dedicated staff, beloved patients and supportive community members during this time of crisis.

For more information, call (323) 276-5700 and ask to speak to Tanner Mitchell.

About Kei-Ai Los Angeles Healthcare Center

Kei-Ai Los Angeles Healthcare Center is a 300-bed skilled nursing facility in Los Angeles, California, serving the elderly community. Kei-Ai is committed to serving others, nurturing life and promoting an individual’s ability to thrive. Kei-Ai specializes in providing individualized, state-of-the-art rehabilitation services to create a safe, comfortable and therapeutic environment conducive to healing.