Following a severe coronavirus outbreak, skilled nursing facility Santa Maria Post Acute was declared COVID-free on Monday by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, according to county data.
First confirmed in late September, the outbreak resulted in a total of 46 residents and 27 staff members testing positive for COVID-19. Public health officials also said that several residents died in connection with the outbreak, although the exact number is not known.
Under state guidelines, the number of deaths at a skilled nursing facility is not specified until the number reaches 11. On Oct. 16, Santa Barbara County Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said the number of deaths at Santa Maria Post Acute was under 11 but still substantial.
In order for a facility to be cleared, no new cases can be confirmed among residents or staff for two consecutive weeks. After cases are first confirmed at a facility, regular testing is performed to track the spread.
Along with clearing Santa Maria Post Acute, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed new COVID-19 cases and deaths throughout the county.
The department confirmed an additional 49 COVID-19 cases over the Oct. 24-25 weekend, followed by 12 cases and two deaths as a result of the illness on Monday.
The total number of cases in the county is now 9,820, with 118 cases still considered active, according to county public health data.
Of the 48 cases confirmed over the weekend, 27 were reported on Saturday, followed by 21 on Sunday, according to county data.
New cases continue to be highest in Santa Maria and Isla Vista, both of which contained 31 active cases as of Monday.
The two COVID-19 deaths confirmed Monday involved two Santa Maria residents, one of whom was between the ages of 30 and 49 and another between the ages of 50 and 69.
Both individuals had underlying health conditions, and neither died in connection with a COVID-19 outbreak at a congregate living facility, according to county data.
A total of 122 people now have died in connection with COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County.
However, on Monday, the county set a new low for COVID-19 hospitalizations. Nine residents are currently hospitalized, including three in the ICU, according to county data.
COVID-19 cases by area
In the city of Santa Maria, 31 out of 4,134 total cases remain active. Sixty-eight individuals have died.
In the community of Orcutt, seven out of 370 total cases remain active. Three individuals have died.
In the city of Lompoc, 16 out of 930 total cases remain active. Eight individuals have died.
In the Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the areas of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, four out of 182 total cases remain active. Seven individuals have died.
In the unincorporated North County area, which includes Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, one out of 459 total cases remain active. Five individuals have died.
In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, public health officials confirmed 28 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, followed by five new cases on Monday.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the county is now 4,174, with 152 cases still considered active, according to county public health data.
Of the 28 cases confirmed over the weekend, 18 were reported on Saturday, followed by 10 on Sunday.