Three COVID-19 Outbreaks Confirmed In Merced County
Exposures considered small but significant
(Public Health Dept. press release)
An investigation is underway by Merced County Public Health Officials to identify and contact all individuals who may have been exposed in three separate locations.
The first reported outbreak is at Anberry Transitional Care, a Skilled Nursing Facility that has confirmed one resident who lives at their Merced City location has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and was recently hospitalized. The resident has mild to no symptoms. The Merced County Public Health mobile strike force testing team was deployed to the facility this morning and, along with Anberry staff, tested all residents and staff – 148 total tests were conducted.
While results are pending, the facility is isolating any possibly exposed residents and closely monitoring all residents. Staff members are using personal protective equipment and those who test positive will be quarantined. Anberry Transitional Care has implemented all recommendations of CDC and CDPH.
“All of our Skilled Nursing Facilities have worked very hard to prevent COVID-19 in their facilities,” said Dr. Salvador Sandoval, Merced County Health Officer. “However, it was inevitable that a case would appear within one of these facilities. Anberry Transitional Care’s planning and rapid response will help reduce the risk to all of its staff and residents.” The county prioritizes investigations in Skilled Nursing Facilities due to the high risk of transmission and serious illness that outbreaks pose.
The second outbreak is being reported from a Foster Farm Turkey Ranch that has confirmed three employees testing positive for COVID-19. These three employees are the only regular workers at the ranch; however, additional employees who may have visited the ranch are being contacted and will be tested.
The third reported outbreak is at S & A Manufacturing and Welding, that has also confirmed three employees tested positive for COVID-19. The facility has an estimated total of 25 staff members; all employees will be tested. Both facilities are currently closed to allow for proper disinfection and notification procedures.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) defines a workplace outbreak as three or more laboratory confirmed cases. Due to the high risk setting of a Skilled Nursing Facility, CDPH considers one positive case in a resident an outbreak. Each of the local facilities mentioned have less than five diagnosed cases of COVID-19.
At this time, there are no deaths related to the exposures.
All the local facilities mentioned have fully cooperated with Public Health officials.
The ideal outcome of Public Health is to prevent further spread of disease while bringing the facilities back on-line in a rapid and safe manner.