(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is reporting five deaths related to the ongoing outbreak at the Country Oaks Care Center in Santa Maria, CA. Currently, 25 residents and 14 staff members that tested positive for COVID-19 have been reported to PHD. The initial positive cases were reported on May 31, 2020 and PHD has been working closely with the facility as well as various state agencies on disease mitigation and supporting ongoing operations.

“We are deeply saddened to report the loss of these five community members and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families and loved ones. We are again reminded that our older adult neighbors are most vulnerable to the effects of this virus and we must take action to protect them every day,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, Director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

The facility has had significant challenges in meeting staffing needs. In partnership with the County and State, the following resources have been deployed:

  • Two (2) California Medical Assistance (CALMAT) Teams from the State, specializing in COVID-19 positive care and response. Each team is comprised of one (1) Nurse and two (2) Emergency Medical Technicians.
  • Physician Assistants, Nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants from the California Health Corps
  • Santa Barbara County Medical Reserve Corps

“Over the next week, the Healthcare-Associated Infections Program will work to provide additional infection control training to staff at County Oaks Care Center,” shared Paige Batson, Deputy Director for Community Health. “These measures will be critical to ensure the health and safety of both residents and staff moving forward.”

For more information about COVID-19 locally, please visit www.publichealthsbc.org or call the Santa Barbara County Call Center at 1-833-688-5551, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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