Public Health Reports COVID-19 Outbreak at Nursing Home
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is reporting one death from a COVID-19 outbreak at a Santa Maria nursing home.
Santa Maria Post Acute Care realized they were experiencing an outbreak when a staff member tested positive around September 25. Per state rules, all staff and residents were prompted to take COVID-19 tests where it was discovered that 71% of residents tested positive.
Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg confirmed during Friday's press conference that approximately 40 cases are still positive with one person requiring hospitalization and one person died. Ten cases have fully recovered and PHD teams are collaborating to improve the spread of infection, he said.
Local officials made another plea for residents to continue avoiding gatherings and to wear a face mask as the county is seeing an uptick in new COVID-19 cases and testing positivity rates.
County Supervisor Gregg Hart cited recent outbreaks in Wisconsin, Spain, France, and Germany stating Santa Barbara County is fragile and complacency and/or ideological opposition can bring the virus back very quickly forcing more shutdowns.
PHD Director Van Do-Reynoso reviewed the new Health Equity Metric added by the state requires the need to decrease testing positivity in 21 neighborhoods throughout the county to move into the next tier. These areas total over 120,000 residents within two neighborhoods in Santa Barbara, 11 in Santa Maria, 1 in Guadalupe, 4 in Lompoc, and 3 in Isla Vista. PHD plans to continue targeted outreach, testing, contact tracing and quarantines in those areas as well as partnering with employers to effect change.
Officials hope to reach the next lowest tier, colored orange, by Halloween. In order to meet that goal, the county must average 17 new COVID-19 cases or less each day.
On Friday, PHD reported 22 new COVID-19 cases bringing the grand total to 9,408 with 128 currently infectious. There are 20 hospitalizations including 7 in the intensive care unit (ICU).
One death was also reported. The individual was over 70 years old with underlying medical conditions, resided in the City of Santa Maria and was associated with an outbreak at a congregate facility. Due to lag time for death certificate reporting, it's unclear if this death is associated with the death from Santa Maria Post Acute Care.
Testing has expanded in Isla Vista with a successful event that took place Friday and two more scheduled on October 23 and November 6 with more in the works.
Additionally, PHD's drive-through flu clinics resulted in administering 1,100 free flu shots in Lompoc and 1,200 in Santa Barbara this week. Two more events are planned on October 13 and 15 at Allan Hanock College in Santa Maria.
More data can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/status-reports/