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38 residents, 24 staff test positive in COVID-19 outbreak at Santa Maria Post Acute
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38 residents, 24 staff test positive in COVID-19 outbreak at Santa Maria Post Acute

From the What you need to know for Tuesday, October 6 series

In an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at skilled nursing facility Santa Maria Post Acute, 38 residents and 24 staff members have tested positive for the illness and at least one resident has died as of Monday, according to data from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. 

Formerly the Santa Maria Care Center, the 55-bed facility on Cook Street holds the largest outbreak at a Santa Barbara County skilled nursing facility since the start of the pandemic. 

The second-largest was identified at Country Oaks Care Center in Santa Maria, with 30 resident cases, 28 staff cases and 12 resident deaths. 

Santa Maria Post Acute has not publicly released information about the outbreak or their response, and has not responded to requests for comment. 

Per California Department of Public Health guidelines, skilled nursing facilities are required to quarantine all COVID-positive residents in a designated area separate from the healthy population, or to transport them to another facility for additional care.

In addition, facilities are encouraged to temporarily designate certain health care staff to positive patients in order to prevent further spread throughout the facility. The state or county public health departments may also provide personnel to assist with staff shortages.

Once cases have been identified, facilities are required to continually test all staff and residents until no new cases have been confirmed for 14 days, according to state guidelines. 

Along with growing cases at Santa Maria Post Acute, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed 37 COVID-19 cases over the Oct. 3-4 weekend, followed by 35 additional COVID-19 cases on Monday. 

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county is now 9,319, with 122 cases still considered active and contagious, according to public health data.

Of the 37 cases confirmed over the weekend, 18 were confirmed Saturday. followed by 19 on Sunday.

The number of hospitalizations in the county has risen slightly since Friday, with 23 individuals currently hospitalized, including five individuals in the ICU, according to public health data. 

In the city of Santa Maria, 56 out of 3,984 total cases remain active. Sixty-two individuals have died.

In the community of Orcutt, five out of 334 total cases remain active. Three individuals have died.

In the city of Lompoc, 22 out of 856 total cases remain active. Eight individuals have died. 

In the Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the areas of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, three out of 157 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.  

COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County 

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, an additional 35 COVID-19 cases were confirmed over the Oct. 3-4 weekend, followed by an additional 22 cases on Monday, according to the county Public Health Department

The total number of cases in the county is now 3,742, with 197 cases considered active and contagious, according to public health data. 

Of the 35 cases confirmed over the weekend, 17 were reported on Saturday, followed by 18 on Sunday.

Out of the 302 total COVID-19 cases confirmed in an outbreak at the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo, a total of 11 cases remain active in custody, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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