Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases title=
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases
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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) expressed their concern regarding the upward trend of COVID-19 cases within the county during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso stated there has been a 49% increase in cases in the past 14 days. More specifically for new cases in the past two weeks, there has been an 84% increase in Santa Maria and 115% increase in Santa Barbara, both were described as "serious and concerning."

"The elevated number of cases in our community is directly attributed to the freedom of movement as we reopened sectors which provided increased opportunities for social interactions and gatherings without physical distancing or face covering," said Dr. Do-Reynoso.

Santa Barbara County has been on the state's monitoring list for 21 days as of Monday for failing to meet COVID-19 data thresholds.

Based on the census of local hospital capacity, the county has 33% of available hospital beds after factoring in occupied beds from COVID-19 patients and other critical needs. The state has flagged this figure as "moderately concerning."

Additionally, 60% of local hospitals have less than 14 days of personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand which has been labeled as "more concerning." PHD has since petitioned the state for more PPE.

Santa Barbara County continues to have an elevated disease transmission, with a case rate of about 220 COVID-19 per 100,000 population over the last 14-day period. The State’s threshold is
no more than 100 per 100,000 population over a 14-day period or an 8% positive rate, which Santa Barbara County has 8.6%.

Dr. Do-Reynoso stated for each positive case they can estimate that person came into contact with ten additional people. There are currently 68 contact investigators in the county, formally called contact tracers, with an additional 30 to be supplied by the state. 

PHD has determined 57% of COVID-19 positive cases were related to person-to-person transmission, 1% due to travel, and 42% due to community acquisition meaning the direct source is unknown. 

Supervisor Gregg Hart expressed his confusion last week with the new state guidance and closures, specifically to the beverage industry. He asked for PHD to use more clarifying statements going forward and making the closures easier to understand. 

The latest COVID-19 numbers can be found here.

 

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Chaparral Jul 09, 2020 01:03 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Enforcement of restrictions seems haphazard at best. Today we walked at East Beach and observed upwards of 150 teens at a volleyball camp. No social distancing in effect at all. No masks at all. Is this a city-approved program? It should be either shut down or numbers cut in half—at a minimum. The jr. lifeguarding program seems to be more carefully organized and run.

NoCertitude Jul 09, 2020 12:49 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

While waiting in line for Costco to open this morning, a man directly ahead of me wore no mask and sneezed. He held a mask in his hand.
I was six feet behind him and I was wearing a mask. Since we were told to stand against the wall, there was no breeze. Not sure if I'm going back to Costco anytime soon.

dw2000 Jul 09, 2020 12:31 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

SACJON - exactly!! well said. And it just seems to me the same people who cry "but the BLM protestors!!" are often the same folks who also downplay the need to wear masks, socially distance, and avoid the scenarios you described for a little while. Certain political leaders were willing to be dishonest with their constituents and put their constituents health and ultimately the economy in further danger. I feel compelled to call out what I perceive as attempts to avoid accountability. Not because I want to see people punished, but because I want to see our country get through this with as few deaths and as little economic damage as we can manage.

sacjon Jul 09, 2020 12:15 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

DW2000 - I'm with you. If the science and data shows the BLM protests were the main factor in the spike, I will accept that. Problem is, everything out there points to protests being not a significant or major factor. What it IS showing though, is that indoor activity such as bars, restaurants, parties, etc were the main driving force behind the spikes. Through tracing, it's been fairly simple to indicate that opening up indoor areas too soon was the largest contributor to the rise in cases. Again - the BLM protests DID contribute, but I just am not convinced, based on the studies conducted, that they were the main source of cases as many are claiming.

PitMix Jul 09, 2020 09:45 AM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

What's worse, going to a protest, outdoors, or sitting indoors at a restaurant without a mask in close personal contact with other people? I doubt that this "question" about how much the protests contributed to spread is going to be definitively answered, but let common sense be your guide. The states that reopened indoors dining are all getting hit.

dw2000 Jul 09, 2020 08:56 AM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

I acknowledge protests contributed to the rise of covid-19. I am even ready and willing to acknowledge protests were the main driver should scientific evidence point to that. However, I have not read anything to support that position. Instead, I have read MANY things indicating that reopening too quickly, too aggressively (in certain US states, and certain counties in California) was the main driver of the rapid rise in Covid-19. We need to give proper weight to things in order to make good decisions going forward. I understand that we will never know with absolute certainty how much one thing vs. another contributed to our current situation but I am willing to trust professionals when they identity trends.

Zenyatta19 Jul 08, 2020 04:18 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Sansum informed some patients today that Pacific Diagnostic Labs had lost a great number of recent Covid tests! They called to see if the patient wanted to be retested!! Unbelievable incompetence

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 08, 2020 04:49 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Yes, honesty is the best policy. That's what my mother taught me. But we're talking about bureaucracy, which all of us regardless of political viewpoint know is full of incompetence and an reluctance to admit failure.

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 08, 2020 04:42 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

"Lost is a vague term" I meant to write. Additionally, if you were tested I'd recommend getting retested ASAP if you're concerned. If they're still doing RT-PCR for these samples, then you have a limited amount of time before the viral load is too low or absent for detection. At some point you'll only be able to detect post-infection using antibodies, which everyone who reads my posts know I'm not exactly fond of due to reliability issues.

dw2000 Jul 09, 2020 08:40 AM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Here is the thing.... I do acknowledge that mass protests during a pandemic are not a good idea and likely contributed to some amount of people getting Covid-19. How much? I don't know, but most sources out there seem to indicate it was not the main driver of the current spikes. I am open to the "truth"... do you have any sources that support your claim that "had we just re-opened without protests we wouldn't be seeing this huge spike"? "So what" we don't need to learn from states that reopened too early and recklessly and maybe do it differently–because it was caused by the protests? "So what" we are wasting our time trying to convince people to wear masks because it was really caused by the protests? "So what" we shouldn't hold politicians and people accountable who ignored science and warnings from experts because hey.... they weren't wrong, it was just the protests!? You said it yourself, lets stick to facts and objectivity.

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 08, 2020 11:55 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

How am I an elitist? I went to community collage to get my A.A before I got my B.S. at a university. It was a great experience, and didn't cost much. I'm from a working class middle income family, and the first generation in my family to go to college. Elitist? After my B.S. in Biochemistry I went to grad school for a Ph.D, and took out a ton of student loans. Elitist? I'm mixed race and half Native American. Elitist? If working hard and studying makes me an elitist then yes, I'm elite and very much proud of that fact.

bigman Jul 08, 2020 10:46 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

DW2000 you don't seem to understand my comment. I said, had we just re-opened without protests we wouldn't be seeing this huge spike. Meaning, if we had stuck to the re-opening plan which we were [distancing and masks], we wouldn't be seeing such a huge spike. The protests spiked this up.

dw2000 Jul 08, 2020 08:21 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

And....you said exactly what I predicted you might “Had we just re-opened without protests I'd bet $$ we wouldn't be seeing such a large spike” the spike was coming due covid-deniers/down players. I knew when the protests happened it would give conservatives just a bit slack to absolve themselves. Lets keep in mind we had 100,000 dead from Covid the day Floyd Jones was killed. It didn't take protests for NY to catch fire early on. If you go back to March I have been consistent on this thing, can you say the same Watcher? I wonder. So keep your false conciousness.

Bene Jul 08, 2020 07:34 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

I agree WATCHER, because I have utmost confidence in data gleaned from contact tracing. Especially tracing related to protests. I for one, am fully confident that everyone who participated in a protest readily gave that info to the contact tracers. Here is a "pull quote" from LA Times article: "L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer recently said it is “highly likely” that the recent overall increase in positive cases is related in part to the mass protests." But even if the percentage of contribution of protests to positive cases could be accurately calculated, the information wouldn't be useful in practical terms. It is pretty much common knowledge that gathering in large groups right now is not a great idea, whether it's to worship or protest. That is, without full protective gear including N95's, and the assurance that all of the large group are wearing said gear correctly.

GeneralTree Jul 08, 2020 07:17 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

I'm positively convinced these COVID new case numbers going through the roof has absolutely no connection to the anti-mask protests, the reopening of hair salons, restarurants and bars, all of the people going to the beach over labor day, the hasty re-opening into the stages of phase 2 and 3, the Trump rally or the tourists.

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 08, 2020 06:19 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

SAC: Dismiss the idea of significant. It's immeasurable. There are anti-mask people contributing too. I've seen several in the past days and it bothers me. Just be honest, is all I ask. Anti-shutdown people who are challenging mask orders are as bad as protesters. In fact, the odd anti-masker is less of a danger, because it's like one out 100. On the other hand, you have thousands of protesters, shoulder to shoulder, yelling. Think that's not an serious problem with respect to the odd Floridian hick that refuses to wear a mask in Costco???

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 08, 2020 06:13 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

MAC: I'm not fond of amateur epidemiology either, which is why I'm discounting the non-scientific NBER article you posted. In hindsight, I suppose you computer scientists aren't really true scientists, so forgive me if I expected more from you. For your information "business people", as I believe is your term, are local citizens who pay tax and employ fellow citizens. You're so dismissive of them, which is sad. As far as "protesters, who by and large seemed to be adhering to pandemic protocols", I think shoulder to shoulder is less than 6 feet. What do you think?

sacjon Jul 08, 2020 06:06 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

4:44 - It's pretty much established now that the BLM protests did not contribute significantly to the spike in numbers. It was the bars, restaurants, careless parties, etc where the tracing found culpability. That is why you see the largest spikes in states that opened early (Texas, Florida, etc). Look, I'm sure some covid was spread at those protests, but the biggest factor in the spike was indoor activity. It's really easily verifiable so I'm not posting all the links again to studies and articles.

macpuzl Jul 08, 2020 05:48 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

5:29 and 5:30 - That's what the data and medical science tell us so far. The timing and locations of the protests do not correlate well with the locations and timing of the surge. Sure, they contributed. But not much. Contact tracing shows that most infections occur in close, prolonged contact situations indoors, where people are without masks. Places like bars and restaurants, and personal services like barbers.

bigman Jul 08, 2020 05:30 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Also I have no idea why ppl are so resistant to admitting the protests spread this much more so than simple re-opening would have. It's strange to me. Seems political frankly and not based in fact or science.

macpuzl Jul 08, 2020 05:27 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

I'm not fond of amateur epidemiology. I know enough to know I don't know enough to carry out such an analysis. Also, peer review is a process with a time constant that precludes effective review in such a short interval. The NBER report was included because most of the shutdown complainers are business people, so such a conclusion by their peers might carry some weight. Blaming the huge surge we're experiencing on a relatively few protesters, who by and large seemed to be adhering to pandemic protocols, is an exercise in letting politics overrule rationality. When the preprints are peer reviewed, I am confident that the conclusions will be that opening too early combined with flaunting of the protective protocols by an ignorant segment of the populace resulted in the surge.

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 08, 2020 05:03 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

MAC: You're a computer programmer, knowledgeable about scientific things such as astronomy, so have you done any analysis yourself? You seem capable. I try to do as much as I can myself, rather than relying on other research to make my point. I ask because the publication you liked has a disclaimer "NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes. They have not been peer-reviewed or been subject to the review by the NBER Board of Directors that accompanies official NBER publications." Furthermore, it's an economic analysis, not scientific. It's a dubious conclusion at best.

macpuzl Jul 08, 2020 04:54 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Except that the epidemiological data point to the resurgence as being primarily due to reopening too early, rather than to the protests.
=================================================================================
https://www.nber.org/papers/w27408.pdf
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https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/06/24/883017035/what-contact-tracing-may-tell-about-cluster-spread-of-the-coronavirus

a-1594251862 Jul 08, 2020 04:44 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

DW2000 "so what"? Those of us who did what we were asked - including businesses - by distancing, wearing masks, making sacrifices and not attending protests with people shoulder to shoulder, screaming and yelling and many not wearing masks - now have to suffer again and possibly even get sick. Had we just re-opened without protests I'd bet $$ we wouldn't be seeing such a large spike. Now we are almost back to square one potentially, with possibly more lockdowns coming if this doesn't get under control. More financial hits to the economy, and to our health. There's your "so what".

a-1594251861 Jul 08, 2020 04:44 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

DW2000 "so what"? Those of us who did what we were asked - including businesses - by distancing, wearing masks, making sacrifices and not attending protests with people shoulder to shoulder, screaming and yelling and many not wearing masks - now have to suffer again and possibly even get sick. Had we just re-opened without protests I'd bet $$ we wouldn't be seeing such a large spike. Now we are almost back to square one potentially, with possibly more lockdowns coming if this doesn't get under control. More financial hits to the economy, and to our health. There's your "so what".

a-1594242098 Jul 08, 2020 02:01 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

I’ve been watching Governor Cuomo’s updates and now, Ventura’s updates where I feel there’s an effort to get the real picture and plan across. Too bad it’s only tangentially relevant. Today, Ventura mentioned that across their well-functioning testing sites they’ll have to start screening out SBC folks who have apparently been forced to seek tests down in VC, in significant numbers. They’re justifiably trying to hasten results turnaround times.

I try to catch all the media offerings from SBC but either I’m missing the useful, confidence-inspiring output, or it’s just not there. Does anyone have a tip on media follows or sites I might have missed?

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 08, 2020 02:35 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Do you have a link to this testing development? I've been curious about SBC testing capacity, which has seen two dramatic increases in testing capacity. Prior to May, SBC was reporting around 200 test/day. On May 8 that number more than doubled to around 550 tests/day until June 17, where it more than doubled again to around 1200 tests/day. This is my own analysis based on numbers posted on the SBPHD website. I have to agree that there seems to be scant data, and they don't make it easy to retrieve this information so I've been typing each number into a spreadsheet by hand. If anyone has information on the true number of hospital and ICU beds I'd be interested. Currently I have 681 staffed beds and 84 ICU beds, which I got from the John Hopkins website. In terms of metrics, these are probably the two most critical numbers when it comes to predicting a shutdown.

sacjon Jul 08, 2020 02:00 PM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Wear the damn masks! The more people who take this seriously, the sooner our kids go back to normal school, businesses open, sports resume, etc etc.... How selfish can you be to refuse to wear a mask and be part of the reason your kids are still at home and you're still out of work? Republicans have turned this political, but how much more do they love Trump and "stickin' it to the libs," than they love their own families? Scary.

a-1594232311 Jul 08, 2020 11:18 AM
Public Health Concerned About Upward Trend of COVID-19 Cases

Jury summons notices are going out. Will people show up? Is the exception for medical concerns is still being over 70 years of age with severe illness? Seems at odds with being over 65 and isolating.

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