82 Contract COVID-19 at Capitola Nursing Facility

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A skilled nursing facility in Capitola is reporting more than 80 cases of COVID-19 among its residents and staff.

Pacific Coast Manor said Thursday that 48 residents and 34 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March. It is not clear how many of those cases were reported in recent days.

Officials with Covenant Care, which owns Pacific Coast Manor, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.

Pacific Coast Manor administrators said in a statement posted on the nursing facility’s website that they are testing all residents and staff with the help of state and local public health departments.

“Rest assured we are aggressively treating and responding to potential community exposures by conducting routine testing of all our residents and staff until such time as a vaccine becomes available or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instructs otherwise,” they added.

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Going forward, officials will implement additional precautions, including screening staff and medical personnel before they enter the facility, quarantining all new admissions in an observation unit before they are moved to a standard room and designating a separate wings of the center for residents who may test positive for COVID-19, they said.

Four other skilled nursing facilities and one residential care facility in Santa Cruz County have also reported cases in recent days, according to both the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Social Services, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

None of the facilities have had residents or staff die from the virus, according to the data from the two agencies.

Hearts & Hands Post Acute and Rehab Center in Santa Cruz and Valley Convalescent Hospital in Watsonville showed active cases on Monday, while Watsonville Nursing Center and Driftwood Healthcare Center in Santa Cruz have no active cases but did have a record for cumulative cases of fewer than 11. Residential care facility Westwind Memory Care in Santa Cruz also had fewer than 11 people contract COVID-19 in recent days, the newspaper reported.

Driftwood Healthcare Center administrator Lance Bailey said that the facility’s outbreak was caused by a family member visiting a resident without clearance when the state prohibited the practice in July. From there, it spread to the senior’s roommate, and then their certified nursing assistants and two more residents. In total, four residents and six staff members became infected with COVID-19; one resident was hospitalized. All ill parties recovered and staff started to take the situation a little bit more seriously thereafter, Bailey said.

“I don’t think COVID is something to be scared of in the general public, it’s just common sense,” Bailey said. “Do what you’re asked to do when you’re out in public … and with nursing homes, just stay away.”

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