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Santa Barbara hospice care resident tests positive for COVID-19 after death

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara retirement home Maravilla released a letter to its residents and their families on Wednesday announcing both a hospice care worker and a resident on hospice care recently tested positive for COVID-19. Sadly, the resident passed away just as the results were released.

Ruth Grande, the executive director for Maravilla, explained in the letter that a third-party hospice care worker who had been attending to several residents within their Assisted Living and Memory Care had tested positive for COVID-19.

Grande said the worker reported their symptoms to their supervisor and was last within the Maravilla community on April 6.

Upon learning this, Grande said Maravilla worked alongside Santa Barbara County Public Health to test all of the residents who had been attended to by the hospice care worker.

Maravilla reports that only one of the tests came back positive. Unfortunately, that resident ended up passing away just as their positive test was received. It is unclear if COVID-19 contributed to this resident's death.

Grande said, in an abundance of caution, all of the employees who were in prolonged contact with the residents that had been exposed are also being tested for the virus. Grande confirmed that these employees were wearing facemasks and taking precautionary measures while working with the residents.

Maravilla is continuing to monitor the situation, following the guidance of the CDC and public health experts.

At this time, the following precautions are being instated to protect the facility's residents:

  • Visits are limited to essential visitors only. (Adults over the age of 18 who are medical providers, hospice care providers, or visitors of residents who are at the end of life.)
  • All essential visitors must use the main building entrance and/or screening station.
  • All essential visitors and employees must complete an extensive COVID-19 screening process including travel and health questions and have their temperature read.
  • Residents receiving care services are having their temperature read daily.
  • All residents are asked to report any potential symptoms immediately.
  • Essential visits may only occur in resident rooms and not in common areas.
  • All essential visitors and employees must wear a mask and practice precautionary measures such as hand washing, social distancing and proper use of personal protective equipment.
  • All resident outings, except for essential and/or doctor’s appointments are strongly discouraged. If a resident should decide to leave the community for a non-essential reason, they are asked to either remain with a loved one outside the community or self-isolate within their residence for 14 days upon their return.
  • Maravilla's onsite restaurant and communal dining rooms have been closed. Residents are being offered multiple menu choices and snacks delivered by the facility's staff to their residence at Maravilla.
  • Virtual activities, aimed at engaging residents physically, intellectually and spiritually are being encouraged throughout the community.

Maravilla is located at 5486 Calle Real in Santa Barbara right next to Santa Barbara County Fire Station 12.

The facility offers three living accommodations, one for independent senior living, one for those in need of assisted living but who wish to remain as independent as possible and the third for those who need memory care.

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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