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Health officials confirm COVID-19 outbreak at three work facilities in Merced

Local News

FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

MERCED, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Merced health officials are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak at three workplaces in the county, according to the Department of Public Health.

Health officials say the facilities have less than five diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths reported. The California Department of Public Health considers one positive case in a facility an outbreak.

The first reported outbreak is at Anberry Transitional Care, a nursing facility that has confirmed one resident that tested positive for coronavirus, the patient has been hospitalized, according to health officials.

The health department had testing conducted at the facility. 148 tests were conducted, including the staff.

“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 says they prioritize the investigations at nursing facilities due to the high risk of transmission.

The second outbreak is being reported from a Foster Farm Turkey Ranch that has confirmed three employees testing positive for COVID-19.

Health officials say the three employees are the only regular workers at the ranch, 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, with three confirmed employees that tested positive for COVID-19. The facility has an estimated total of 25 staff members and all employees will be tested.

Both facilities are currently closed to allow for proper disinfection.

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