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Few Santa Maria senior facility staff members test positive for COVID since the beginning of pandemic, facility takes extreme care of senior residents to avoid outbreak

SANTA MARIA, Calif.– After a few staff members tested positive for COVID at a senior facility in Santa Maria, it has taken extra precautions to avoid spreading covid cases to the residents.

Managers at Merrill Gardens senior facility are on high alert for COVID-19.

"We've been kind of going through this epidemic or battle for the last 10 months," said Merrill Gardens General Manager Audie Sherberg.

The virus has severely impacted care homes across the nation, it's been linked to some of the deadliest outbreaks we've seen.

But that hasn't been the case at Merrill Gardens since march.

“We had 4 staff members that have become ill,” said Sherberg.

The senior living facility says it's gone the extra mile to take extra care of its residents.

And so far, no one living at Merrill Gardens has gotten sick.

“We have over 400 people, 250 residents, we have 150 staff members,” said Sherberg. “And we are very conscientious of how we could actually prevent covid from coming in.”

Staff members must take a monthly COVID test.

As for seniors, masks are worn at all times, washing their hands frequently, housekeeping services are being provided multiple times a day, and family visits are only allowed by appointment only.

“My daughter comes weekly, she lives locally. she comes and we sit on the patio, we are distanced and we wear a mask,” said senior resident Mary Alice Dell.

The residents say they're grateful to have a team that cares about their health and safety.

“No, we haven’t had one single case among our residents, nobody,” said senior resident Audrey Linde. “And that is due to the care and precaution that are being taken.”

The goal for Merrill Gardens is to keep residents COVID-free, and will continue to update its protocols on a monthly basis. 

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.


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