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Country Oaks Care Center now able to take in new patients

Posted at 7:17 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 22:32:32-04

Country Oaks Care Center in Santa Maria is now able to take new patients after getting the okay from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

The facility had been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak but has been seeing improvements over the past three weeks.

Still, the owners say they've been taking precautions so residents and staff remain safe.

"We've been testing all the patients and all the staff members each week. So four weeks ago, we had our first testing where there were no positive cases," said owner John Henning.

That continued to be the case for three consecutive weeks.

"Last week, the health department gave us the go-ahead to start admitting new patients," Henning said.

In order for new patients to be admitted into the care facility, they must:

  • Go through a screening process to make sure the facility has the ability to take care of them
  • Get tested for the virus
  • If results come back negative, self-quarantine in the facility for 14 day

Cleaning protocols have also dramatically improved.

"We get done going down the hall cleaning, we turn around and go back and clean some more. I mean, we are cleaning doorknobs, we are cleaning edges, we are cleaning TV controllers, pull cords. You name it, we are cleaning it," said Assistant Administrator Sharon Henning.

Even though things have been improving, visitors are still not allowed in, something owners said is very difficult to witness.

"I just talked with a daughter this morning who visited with her mother through the window and she said, 'I just miss being able to hug her,' and that is important," Henning said.

Owners told KSBY that as of now, one person has reached out to them who is thinking about admitting a family member to the facility and they expect more to reach out as the weeks go by.

The facility has 25 residents and could take up to around 56 residents.