A coronavirus outbreak has been declared at the Vista Rosa Assisted Living facility in San Luis Obispo after county health officials say seven people there tested positive for COVID-19.
A Vista Rosa resident was experiencing shortness of breath and was sent to a local hospital where she tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.
After contacting the health department, all staff and residents were tested and two more residents and four caregivers were positive.
Stacy White's mom lives in Vista Rosa and suffers from Alzheimer's.
"I was her person that would come in and play puzzles or just bring her home to come to watch my kids or sit in the backyard, and not being able to do that, it's very difficult," White said.
Since the pandemic, she has been limited to seeing her mom through a window and in-person 10 feet apart for an hour at a time.
"The monster is the loss of time, and to me, the risk of her getting COVID is actually secondary," White said.
Vista Rosa went on lockdown a week before San Luis Obispo County’s shelter-at-home order and despite only letting medical personnel inside the building, the virus was able to spread.
"We have done everything that we could have possibly done to keep this virus out and this just goes to show you how vicious this thing really is," said Jessica Bailey, Vista Rosa General Manager.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks in the United States.
In Santa Maria, five deaths are linked to an outbreak at the Country Oaks Care Center, a skilled nursing facility where 25 residents and 14 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite the outbreak at Vista Rosa, we’re told only one caregiver and the initial resident that have tested positive are showing any symptoms of the virus.
"I see so many people out in our community and honestly it scares us and it's facilities like us that are taking care of elderly that are going to be affected the most," Bailey said.
White says she knows her mom is in great hands at Vista Rosa but worries about the potential loss of time with her mother and says she may choose to bring her home.
"This being the norm until a vaccine is difficult for me to fathom because that time she might not even know who I am," she said.
The plan at Vista Rosa is to stay quarantined for the next 14 days and the county says it will retest everyone in the next week.
All residents are in isolation and staff members taking care of residents wear full PPE.