Burlingame retirement home on lockdown, 5 residents test positive for COVID-19

A Burlingame retirement home remains under virtual lockdown, with five residents confirmed positive for coronavirus. 

A sixth person from Atria Assisted Living has test results pending. 

All are hospitalized, but their ages are not disclosed. 

"Hi, we don't want reporters here right now, sorry," said a staffer who opened the locked door Thursday evening. 

The facility on Myrtle Road has large signs posted, reading "Temporarily Closed."

"Nobody wants to say anything," said the employee, shutting the door. 

In writing, Atria says the health and well-being of residents and employees is "our first priority." 

Atria is a national chain with more than 200 senior-living facilities in dozens of states. 

The statement posted in Burlingame says the company is working closely with public health officiasl "to monitor the situation and take the necessary steps."

An elderly couple walking across the street from the facility had not heard of Atria's outbreak. 

"We live in our own house and take care of ourselves," said Reinhardt Howeler, 77, accompanied by his wife Jane, 80. 

They expressed relief they live independently, not in a communal setting. 

"That way, you don't meet people who may have the virus so you're much less likely to get infected," said Howeler. 

Across San Mateo County, 89 cases of COVID-19 are reported, a number that rose by 9 on Thursday. 

One person has died. 

Atria's four-story facility offers apartments and assisted living units. 

Currently, residents aren't leaving their rooms, even for meals.   

Staff wears masks when interacting with them, and only essential deliveries and visitors are allowed.

Everyone has their temperature checked on arrival, to screen for illness.   

"I bet it's a lot closer than we think," said neighborhood resident Soon Yu, riding bikes with his son in Washington Square Park at dusk. 

"We're getting a little exercise so we don't go stir-crazy in the house," joked Yu.

He was not surprised to hear of coronavirus in the 20 year-old senior living center. 

"You can't worry about proximity like that, the only thing you can do is take the recommended precautions and that's what we're doing."