Redwood City residential care home reports ten COVID-19 deaths

Ten residents at the Gordon Manor Residential Care Home in Redwood City have died from coronavirus.

The same facility reported two deaths just over a week ago. The ten deaths occurred over a period of the past few weeks.

Among the victims were Donald Kennedy, 88, a former president of Stanford University, said Alisa Mallari Tu, director of the facility.

Tu said she learned tai chi at Stanford. Years later, Kennedy took her tai chi class at Gordon Manor. 

"I just met him for the first time when he came to Gordon Manor, and it was a privilege, for sure, but it was also pleasure," Tu said.

Loved ones are unable to visit the sick. 

"It's been a really hard two weeks, three weeks or month, that we've been under lockdown, and my main concern is for my residents. You know, they're my friends, " Tu said. 

Despite the anguish and sadness, she said there are glimmers of hope and positivity at the family-run business whose tagline is "just like family."

"We're here to be able to have those little moments, even if it's complete devastation around us. It's like an island, it's like a big tornado swirling around us," Tu said. 

The facility, located at 1616 Gordon Street in Redwood City, released the following statement Friday:

"We are emotionally devastated by the reality of coronavirus in our community and in the many other senior and group communities like ours. We are grieving the loss of our ability to celebrate birthdays together, dance and sing together, and share our meals together. Our population might be considered vulnerable, but our residents are filled with history, humor, love, and wisdom, that we, as their caregivers, get to experience every day. Our sole purpose through this extremely difficult time is to focus all of our efforts on the well-being of our beloved residents and their dear families, as well as our incredibly dedicated and courageous staff members who bravely, every day and every night, come in to work to care for our residents. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the skill and expertise that are supporting us and to those community leaders, public health and emergency agencies who recognized the threat and have mobilized to stabilize our community. We are so very grateful to our volunteers, donations of personal protective equipment, food and drink, and especially to our precious families who continue to encourage us and nurture us with their support. We will never be the same, but then again, none of us will be."