Employee at Templeton skilled nursing facility tests positive for COVID-19

Local health officials say they were made aware of the case Friday
Posted at 2:19 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 19:15:22-04

A contact investigation is underway after an employee at a Templeton skilled nursing facility tested positive for COVID-19, health officials say.

The case at Vineyard Hills Health Center is not yet listed on the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) website, but San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department officials tell KSBY News they were made aware of the case Friday morning.

San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said at a press conference Friday afternoon that the case at Vineyard Hills is the first COVID-19 case at a skilled nursing facility in the county.

Borenstein says the person did have contact with a relative who had already tested positive.

She adds that it's not currently known if the virus was spread within the facility.

CEO Darren Smith told KSBY News that "extensive testing" is being done over the next 24 hours both on- and off-site on all staff and residents connected to the facility.

“Since day one of this outbreak, Compass Health, Inc. has implemented the best known practices from national and local public health sources. We remain dedicated and committed to keeping the residents who have been entrusted to our care safe. As a locally owned and operated company, we feel an added level of responsibility to do our part in San Luis Obispo county to limit the spread of this virus," Smith said.

"Since early March, Vineyard Hills and the other six Compass Health skilled nursing facilities have implemented best practices for the skilled nursing facility industry in light of this global pandemic. These practices include: restricted access from visitors and vendors, daily testing of employees and patients for signs and symptoms, required masking of employees, no employees working at multiple locations, designated on site infection preventionists and has separated all residents into smaller units limiting chances for cross contamination in the event of a confirmed case of the virus," according to a press release.

The CDPH requires all skilled nursing facilities to report any confirmed COVID-19 cases or deaths involving residents or staff daily.

According to Vineyard Hills’ website, the Compass Health Inc. facility on Heather Court provides private, state-funded and Medicare-approved skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.

The case is one of 14 new COVID-19 cases reported in San Luis Obispo County Friday.