COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) announced COVID-19 outbreaks at two local skilled nursing facilities and thirty new cases over the weekend.

PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso confirmed Country Oaks in Santa Maria has 10 cases, five residents and five staff members, while Valle Verde has one confirmed case. According to state guidelines, one COVID-19 positive case is considered an outbreak due to the vulnerability of residents and the congregate living situation.

By the end of June, all 14 skilled nursing facilities in the county will complete baseline COVID-19 testing for all residents, approximately 1,000, and all staff members, approximately 2,000.

As of Monday, there are a total of 1,817 cases within Santa Barbara County. Of those, 984 are from the outbreak at the Federal Prison in Lompoc and 833 are community cases. There have been 15 deaths.

Of the community cases, there are 91 people quarantined at home, 43 hospitalized with 9 in the intensive care unit (ICU), and 31 pending information.  

From the 833 community cases, 528 are located in the Santa Maria area. Dr. Do-Reynoso confirmed an in-depth profile including a retrospective survey of all Santa Maria cases will be made publicly available this week.

On Friday, Governor Newsom announced counties will be able to decide if they're ready to move into Phase 3 which includes the reopening of gyms, bars, and schools. 

PHD Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg stated there has been a slight increase in hospitalizations and cases since reopening more businesses during Memorial Day weekend, but so far it is manageable.

It's too soon to tell how the recent protests have had an effect on COVID-19 cases, but Dr. Ansorg stated he's quite optimistic. On Wednesday he will review the data and decide if Santa Barbara is ready to reopen new business sectors on Friday.

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macpuzl Jun 09, 2020 11:22 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

I see the COVIDIOTS are distorting the WHO message on asymptomatic spread. What the WHO is saying is that people who test positive for the virus, but *remain asymptomatic*, and never develop disease, do not seem to be a big factor in spreading the virus. People who get the virus *and eventually develop symptoms* may spread the virus readily *while they are in the early asymptomatic phase*.

CoralineJones Jun 09, 2020 11:06 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

I too questioned how these protests are OK when I can't even visit my family. In my opinion, allowing these protests is more about politics than anything else, and excuses to make them OK. Just like when Pelosi and DeBlasio encouraged people to mingle and mix during Chinese New Year and not be "afraid" of the virus - also political. So while it upsets me, I think that it is best we do not get mixed up in that and stay safe. I feel bad for these protesters b/c who knows what will come of this. I don't think our elected officials really care about grandma all that much - they don't know her - and they seem to care more about their optics and votes. So regardless of how it is hypocritical, just stay smart and stay safe and don't put yourself at risk b/c you think it's Hypocritical b/c your life or the life of a loved one may be the one that is saved. And be espcially vigilant now as these protesters are mingling in our community. I bet very few self quarantined or got tested. Hopefully they don't end up swarming the medical system preventing those of us who did what we were supposed to from getting the medical care we may need, as we were not reckless.

a-1591734779 Jun 09, 2020 01:32 PM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

I couldn't have said it prove the exact opposite. Thank goodness (or, as painful and weird as it is to say, thank "McConnell") we are limiting the capacity to's a virus you can get anywhere, the last thing we need it giving lawyers the green light to start litigation based on where you got sick. That would be ridiculous...obviously and definitively. Note: if you were being sarcastic and I completely missed I now that I read your post again I think you are actually truly thanking McConnell and I took the bait...)

Chip of SB Jun 09, 2020 12:11 PM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

If the virus is still dangerous and we don’t want “covidiots” out protesting, I think we need to formally address what gatherings are allowed. Perhaps the city could form a committee that could decide whether a particular cause is worthy of the covid risk or not. That would allow us to arrest the “covidiot” right wing protesters, but allow important causes like defunding the police department to hold large public events.

SantaBarbaraObserver Jun 09, 2020 11:49 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

The right to peacefully assemble, is a first amendment right guaranteed to all. There is no allowance as there is no party that can or will disallow the right, legally. Assisted living facilities are state regulated and also private entities. The later offers a great deal of wiggle-room as far as allowance. For instance: You are free to remove your loved one, but you wont be allowed to bring them back in... So is Grandma better off in quarantined care at an assisted living facility or better off in your home under your care? That's still up to you. But thank McConnell for the immunity from liability that these facilities will soon enjoy. So if Gma dies, you cant sue. Even if they were negligent... grossly negligent. The GOP's new motto. Making America great, one dead grandparent at a time! I guess its one way to cut SS...

winter Jun 09, 2020 10:01 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

I want to comment, and agree with the poster about the elderly, being is just not safe probably to have visitors yet..
My aunt, in Atlanta, has been on lockdown, since March...Assisted living...
They have come up with clever ways to see family...wheel them out...families come by, can see them..decorated cars...mother's day
This weekend, a Romeo and Juliet theme...
Seniors, will be on the balconies, waving.

Lucky 777 Jun 09, 2020 09:40 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

For a view of how Iceland has completely contained and eliminated The Virus see the current issue of The New Yorker. Their entire nation has merely 3x the population of Santa Barbara. As a point of fact, they are so isolated they sat out The Black Death, too.

Surfeit Jun 09, 2020 09:29 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

The single case at Valle Verde is an asymptomatic staff member who is quarantined at home. They continue to remain asymptomatic and it could conceivably be a false/positive test result. Valle Verde has implemented stringent restrictions for all residents, not just those in the skilled nursing facility and continues to provide best practices at all level of living. To their credit this is a single incident (yet to be confirmed) in a community of 400 over the last 4 months since the shelter in place rule went into effect.
From a protected resident at Valle Verde

PitMix Jun 09, 2020 03:28 PM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

If you go by there you will see that they blocked off the entrances to their property and screen everyone who wants to come in. They are pretty serious about keeping their residents safe.

Sam The Dog Jun 09, 2020 09:24 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

Our state politicians forgot that the purpose of the lockdown was to prevent overloading our healthcare system with patients. The continued heavy restrictions are completely unnecessary, they keep thinking everyone is going to pretend the virus is gone and go back to normal if they lift them. But society is never going back to the way it was, we will all be more cognizant of our health, wash our hands more, stay home when we're feeling ill. Like many here, some will choose to stay at home a little longer. These facts, combined with the WHO now saying asymptomatic people "very rarely" spread the virus, make any restrictive measures unnecessary other than those that solely focus on the very specific high-risk group. But our politicians need to save face, so they will continue the draconian measures via a slow series of "opening up" and claim it was because of their rules things are getting better vs. the DATA and the SCIENCE showing it wasn't that bad to begin with. (still bad though, just not nearly AS bad as Newsom's "Millions will Die in California" moment)

Sam The Dog Jun 09, 2020 02:23 PM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

Chip, unfortunately our state leaders became entrenched with their shutdown agenda, which at the beginning, was substantiated with the data or lack there of. As more data came out that showed otherwise, data that our hospital capacity was not at risk (remember those empty field hospitals and military ships?) data that showed the virus was worse than the flu but not nearly as deadly as originally predicted (Millions in CA will Die!) they ignored it rather coming out and saying "the data has changed, the lock down is no longer an appropriate response, lets move forward while continuing to follow the data and the science". Nope, they were entrenched in the decision thinking changing approaches would make them look bad, instead they looked bad by staying entrenched in their original and erroneous approach. Remember this next time you vote for an elected official in our State.

Chip of SB Jun 09, 2020 01:31 PM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

Excellent point Sam. I think many people are also personally invested in the restrictions and reluctant to admit they were wrong and let go. For example, the premise for requiring face coverings was the risk of asymptomatic cases spreading the virus unknowingly. The WHO reported that contact tracing data shows this premise is false. However, those who advocated for face coverings seem reluctant to ease the requirement despite the theory behind them being proved false.

Auntie Jun 09, 2020 08:56 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

I agree with A-1591717514. Amazing how the virus just went poof and disappeared for the protests. I guests the virus is so smart it recognizes protesters from non protesters. Health experts said, yes I read this, that protesting is good for the virus. It was one a certain cable news channel. This is one smart virus!

a-1591717384 Jun 09, 2020 08:43 AM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

The hypocrisy is appalling. If there is a serious threat from this, then why are they allowing all these non-social-distancing protests? If its not a serious threat, then why can't we come into the assisted living facilities and see our loved ones? Do you think no careworkers were in the protests or exposed to anyone in the protests? You can loot a business but not get arrested. You can open your business and get arrested. When does this madness stop? We are killing our elderly by removing so many activities, love and affection from their lives. The are confused and scared. This is the "greatest generation" and look how we are treating them. Let family members have access to their loved ones now.

winter Jun 08, 2020 06:59 PM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

I am not with seniors.
Got tested, at Earl Warren, 3 weeks ago.
The nurse told me 2 different facilities, not the ones mentioned here, were swamped with staff, patients with the virus.

mark snyder Jun 08, 2020 06:00 PM
COVID-19 Outbreaks at Two Skilled Nursing Facilities

Viral load matters. Infection is not like flipping a switch. Your body will fight even an unknown virus, but not as effectively. If you get just a few virions, you will be able to deactivate them and avoid infection. If you come in contact with more, you may get light symptoms but eventually fight off the infection and get better. Get a high viral load though, and the virus might overwhelm even a young organism in a good shape. This is why you hear about Li Wenliang and other young doctors dying. This means that even if steps you take are not 100% effective in preventing infection, they still might save your life, and lives of others. Which brings me to my next point:
Infection prevention measures add up nonlinearly. Just as the spread of the virus grows exponentially with more interactions, it falls exponentially as the virus gets less opportunities to spread. Which means that if everyone reduces their exposure to the virus by 30%, the rate of infection will be slowed by much more than 30% and potentially by 80–90%. Do not think that your efforts are futile if you don’t wear a N-95 mask or you cannot eliminate all social interaction. The virus is not the only side in this battle that can weaponize. Now is not the time for complacency .

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