Public Officials Hope to Reopen More Businesses Next Week

Dr. Henning Ansorg during Friday's COVID-19 press conference title=
Dr. Henning Ansorg during Friday's COVID-19 press conference
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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) hopes the state will allow the county to move into the next tier prompting more businesses to reopen next week.

During Friday's press conference, officials affirmed the state will make an announcement on Tuesday whether the county's COVID-19 case rate and testing positivity met the criteria to move into the lower "red tier." This would allow all schools to reopen without waivers within 14 days and the majority of businesses to immediately reopen indoors with modifications.

PHD Director Van Do-Reynoso said the numbers "look promising," but they won't know for sure until Monday when the state performs their calculations. 

Young People are Biggest Spreaders

Although the county is currently in a downward trend, there's still a concern about younger populations carrying and spreading the virus. Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg stated the percentage of young adults infected by COVID-19 has increased steadily. 

"In August, the test positivity rate for twenty-year-olds was the highest ever at 23% followed by people in their thirties with 17%. Of all positive tests performed in California in August, 40% were people in their twenties and thirties," said Dr. Ansorg.

While younger people generally have better odds at an uncomplicated recovery, Dr. Ansorg said this is not guaranteed. "A recent study showed that young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 experience substantial rates of adverse outcomes when hospitalized, 21% of all hospitalized had to require intensive unit care, 10% needed to be on the ventilator and 2.7% died in this young age group," he said.

On top of this, younger people appear to be the biggest spreaders of the virus putting themselves and others at risk. An observation in the southeast of the U.S. showed an increase in test positivity rate in people in their 20's was later followed by an increase in people in their 40's and 50's about 9 days later to then followed by people older than 60's after that, said Dr. Ansorg.

Recent studies have confirmed that respiratory droplets can become aerosolized and spread even further than six-feet and linger in the air while still being contagious. Face masks are the biggest protectors, he said. 

School Waiver Update

There have been thirty elementary school waiver applications to reopen within Santa Barbara County.

Twenty-one schools have been approved by the state to reopen, four are working with PHD to complete their application, and three new applications were received on Friday. Not a single waiver has been denied thus far.

Once the county reaches the red tier, waivers will not be required after 14 days and all schools can potentially reopen as soon as October 13 if their school officials allow.

Current Numbers

On Friday, PHD reported 35 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total to 9,037. Of those, 155 cases are still active/infectious.

There have been 113 COVID-19 related deaths.

Currently, there are 20 people hospitalized with 5 in the intensive care unit (ICU).

More data can be found here: https://publichealthsbc.org

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dukemunson Sep 26, 2020 06:36 AM
Public Officials Hope to Reopen More Businesses Next Week

Looking at you Goleta school district!!!! Still going to stay closed so as not to “disrupt the teachers and administrators”?????

“Twenty-one schools have been approved by the state to reopen, four are working with PHD to complete their application, and three new applications were received on Friday. Not a single waiver has been denied thus far.

Once the county reaches the red tier, waivers will not be required after 14 days and all schools can potentially reopen as soon as October 13 if their school officials allow.”

a-1601170511 Sep 26, 2020 06:35 PM
Public Officials Hope to Reopen More Businesses Next Week

The curve flattened months ago. That first and agreed goal shifted somehow to virtually zero tolerance. That was not the original bargain - flattening the curve meant the same numbers of cases, just spread out over time. But early on we learned we had more than enough resources to handle any increased hospitalizations - which never came. Hoever, the one million dollar bill taxpayers are now stuck with in order to turn the Sears Building at La Cumbre Plaza into a covid over-flow center for north county cases, needs serious investigation. It was obvious very quickly we were sold a plague of massive proportions and we needed to cower and hide, yet it passed just about everywhere within the limits of a serious flu season, but at very high economic costs.

mm1970 Sep 29, 2020 01:25 PM
Public Officials Hope to Reopen More Businesses Next Week

Months ago? No. Weeks ago? Yes. Maybe 6 weeks ago the curve flattened to a reasonable rate. It doesn't matter if the curve is "flat" at a high infection rate. We've been at or around 50 new cases a day (or less) since mid-August.

ChemicalSuperFreak Sep 26, 2020 06:41 PM
Public Officials Hope to Reopen More Businesses Next Week

Certainly, the county's overall numbers have us headed toward the Red/Substantial tier. However, COVID cases in Isla Vista have been steadily rising since the beginning of August, and the UCSB students are officially returning this week. If we manage to get to the Red tier, savor it while it lasts.

a-1601411971 Sep 29, 2020 01:39 PM
Public Officials Hope to Reopen More Businesses Next Week

Once the schools open, they can't close if the tier goes back to purple. I don't know why that is, but that's what's been said. I suppose that makes them even more cautious about opening.

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