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Two skilled nursing facilities in Lompoc report employees with COVID-19

Posted at 5:39 PM, Apr 22, 2020

Cases of COVID-19 at skilled nursing facilities are now being tracked on the state's health department website.

These types of facilities help take care of patients who need around the clock care.

258 skilled nursing facilities in the state have reported having one or more cases of COVID-19, with two of those locations being in Lompoc.

The Lompoc Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and the Lompoc Valley Medical Center Comprehensive Care Center say they each had one worker test positive back in March. There have been no confirmed cases among patients.

The Comprehensive Care Center says masks were being worn there prior to the stay at home order.

"As you know in nursing homes, you work in really close quarters, so I feel in my heart of hearts that by us wearing masks, we were able to prevent that individual from spreading it to any other staff members or residents," said Lorraine Jones, Administrator of the Lompoc Valley Medical Center Comprehensive Care Center.

Both sites say they have been aggressively monitoring employees' symptoms.

The Lompoc Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center said in a statement:

We are screening all staff and individuals entering the facility in addition to limited visitation. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of every person whose care we have been entrusted with and of our valued and committed staff who are working tirelessly despite daunting circumstances.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says residents at these facilities are among the populations most vulnerable to the disease.

"Eighty percent of individuals may have mild to moderate symptoms [but] individuals in these facilities really stand a risk of having very serious adverse outcomes," explained Paige Batson, Deputy Director of the Community Health Division of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

The health department says the facilities have been doing a good job at keeping healthcare workers and patients protected from COVID-19.

"That's largely due to their own motivation that they're providing a safe environment for the employees and the residents," Batson said.

The Comprehensive Care Center says even once the stay at home order has been lifted, they plan to continue their screening process of employees and visitors to prevent the spread of other illnesses.

The state's website is a "snapshot in time" that comprises data the facilities self-report.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says it compiles its own data separately.

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says no facilities in the county have had positive cases.