COVID-19 Investigations Underway at 2 Senior Care Facilities

Two San Diego county senior facilities are under investigation by County Health after three employees test positive for COVID-19 at La Vida Real retirement community.

la vida real
Melissa Adan

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is investigating potential COVID-19 exposure among patients at two separate assisted living facilities after positive cases at each location.

The Stellar Care assisted living facility in the College Area and the La Vida Real retirement community in Rancho San Diego -- both which serve senior citizens considered at-risk to exposure of the novel coronavirus -- were under investigation this week, public health officials confirmed.

Stellar Care had at least one confirmed COVID-19 case but public health officials did not specify if a patient or staff member tested positive.

NBC 7 reached out to Stellar Care for comment and they have not returned our requests.

La Vida Real had three employees test positive for COVID-19, La Vida Real Executive Director Rudy Littlefield said. Two other employees and at least four residents in their memory care department were being tested.

"La Vida Real has communicated with residents and their families and is in close contact with San Diego County health officials, after learning Tuesday that three staff members in our assisted living and memory care building tested positive for COVID-19. These employees noticed symptoms while away from work and did not return to the community," a letter to family said.

Staff at the facility were using masks and protective equipment when interacting with residents and the facility was following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to limit visits. Only essential visitors who have undergone an extensive screening will be allowed in, Littlefield said.

"They have had a case there were somebody that does take care of other people, but she's not here anymore," said resident Marie Waters.

Residents at La Vida Real said the staff is doing their best to stop the virus from spreading.

The county's public health department has sent nurses to each facility to asses infection control and determine if there is a need for additional testing, HHSA Director of Epidemiology DR. Eric McDonald said.

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