Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier title=
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart during Friday's press conference
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By edhat staff

The Public Health Department (PHD) stated the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Isla Vista will most likely prevent the county from moving on to the less restrictive orange tier.

There are currently 34 active COVID-19 cases within Isla Vista and officials are monitoring outbreaks at five fraternity and sorority houses, said Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso in a press conference Friday afternoon.

The initial outbreak reported last week appeared to show two separate clusters of positive cases within two fraternity and sorority houses. Unfortunately, increased testing showed the outbreak was not contained and several more cases were identified through contact tracing.

County Supervisor Gregg Hart cautioned that if these residents did not gather at parties and were more responsible, this situation could have been avoided entirely. 

UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College are reportedly sending letters to their students revealing possible consequences such as suspension if public health guidelines are not followed. Hart urged Isla Vista property managers and landlords to also show stronger restrictions with their tenants. 

"There's so much at stake right now," said Hart. 

Santa Barbara County was very close to achieving the orange tier, although this latest outbreak has set us solidly in the red tier, said Do-Reynoso. The county will need to achieve orange tier numbers for two consecutive weeks before being allowed to step down. She also cautioned that an increase in more cases could set us back to the highest purple-colored "widespread" tier where more businesses would have to shut down. 

The Public Health Department (PHD) is hosting another COVID-19 testing event on Thursday, October 29 through October 31 at the Isla Vista Theatre. UC Santa Barbara is also hosting their own testing events on campus and will report their findings to PHD and the general public, although official numbers may lag by a day or two, said Do-Reynoso.

Friday's Numbers

As of last week, the county's daily case rate fluctuated between 4.5 to 4.9 cases per 100,000 population with the testing positivity trending downward between 2.1 - 2.4%, said Do-Reynoso. In order to move into the orange tier, the county's daily case rate will need to be less than 3.9.

There were 45 new cases reported on Friday, 12 of those located in Isla Vista and 18 in Santa Maria. The grand total is 9,760 with 129 currently active. There have been 120 deaths.

There are currently 17 hospitalizations including three in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Do-Reynoso stated that while it's good the hospitalizations are going down, we all need to be mindful of the increase of COVID-19 cases because it may impact vulnerable populations She warned it's not a good idea to throw open the gates based on one metric, it's best to examine case rates and testing positivity.

More data can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/status-reports/

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Marathoner Oct 26, 2020 04:10 AM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

Remember all the fencing and vast presence of police units from all over, just a few years ago after the Isla Vista riots? The environmental disaster called "Deltopia" cost a mint to clean up so out came the mounted patrols and the riot gear and things were quiet. So now that 230,000 Americans are prematurely deceased and there is a real global pandemic, is the Halloween party going to be permitted to go forth as a Super Spreader event that will result in more sickness, mortality and set businesses and K-12 back? Maybe higher education needs to take a break or go all-virtual for one year, would that be such a terrible thing? I for one would not subject my grandparents to the risk of a horrible death just so I would not miss a year of school, so I would just as soon they all went home until the pandemic is over.. Maybe they could actually get jobs ... helping vulnerable people?

Olde Mann Oct 24, 2020 09:29 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

Is anyone questioning why SBCC students live in IV at all? There is a disconnect between the idea of attending college and what's actually going on. IV is not populated by students, because there are no classes to attend. IV is populated by a class of tourists that are here to party. This has been the case for some time now, but has not been salient until the campuses shut down. Some call it Club-Ed. It's a vast money-making scheme to sell the "college experience" as some sort of Disneyland. Most of the majors are for entertainment purposes. There's going to be a rude awakening when this generational bubble collapses. The immediate effects are merely symptomatic of a much larger problem. At the root of it, the world has reached a self-limiting population density. IV is our local petri dish.

PitMix Oct 26, 2020 09:26 AM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

State law does not allow us to limit the number of out of town people attending SBCC. The SBCC machine has no interest in decreasing the number of classes available . Landlords are doing just fine with this mess. It's hard to know what the solution is to any of these problems. .

sblocal1967 Oct 24, 2020 06:09 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

All of this hysteria so that politicians can pursue their respective agendas. If you are a high risk person or an extremely paranoid person like GT, then take more caution with who you interact with simple as that. If you are not high risk, then go about your life and wear a mask when in crowded public spaces so that people who are high risk can at least go out. At this point in time if you are a high risk person and get CV, then that is on you. So a bunch of college kids hanging out with one another get CV, who cares, none got sick enough to be hospitalized and most probably did not know they had it.

ChemicalSuperFreak Oct 24, 2020 10:48 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

@8:09 PM: Excellent point! I see students in Costco, Albertons, Sprouts and in particular Trader's, so it's not like IV is an island unto itself and infected students don't mix with the population in Goleta and downtown. A simple fact is that 500+ health care workers have been infected, which is proof that SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and even those wearing the prescribed PPE, wash their hands frequently, disinfect and follow all other safety protocols can become infected just be being high concentrations of people who are contagious. Normally, this be a concern since the percentage of positives in the county has been quite low and most of us don't work in health care. However, the high population and density of IV does have me worried because you can go from 30 cases to 3000 cases in a matter of days, with an upper limit of 20,000+ potential cases---which by itself is more than double the current number (9,760) of all positives in the country from the very start back in February. Asymptomatics, and pre-symptomatics are contagious, and if you have thousands of them running around town that's no good for anyone, state and county metrics aside.

ChemicalSuperFreak Oct 24, 2020 06:28 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

SBLOCAL, a serious question for you. VOICE wrote, "they were barely sick and I didnt read any of them were hospitalized," while you state, "none got sick enough to be hospitalized and most probably did not know they had it." If "most probably did not know they had it", why did they take a COVID test? It's not mandatory for students living in IV, only those few students permitted in university-owned housing. Positives, regardless of how well the person feels, add to our positivity rate and case rate, preventing us from opening up. I thought you weren't for continued lockdowns?

sacjon Oct 24, 2020 03:29 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

And now our kids will be "remote learning" for the rest of the school year....FU IV! The governor himself has allowed in-person school, yet our districts are holding out for the orange tier. That's not happening and now our kids are basically losing a year of education.

mtndriver Oct 24, 2020 08:30 AM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

In France now they are seeing a big increase in cases in older people who have been isolating the whole time. They are getting it from their asymptomatic kids who come home to visit. 85000 new cases in this country yesterday! Going to be a long winter.

195930 Oct 24, 2020 06:45 AM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

Yes, and why are they even here? I guess that all important SBCC surf class at Ledbetter is one of those lab classes that has to be in person???? I feel for what all age groups are losing during this time, but some groups will actually lose their lives and these students that chose to return should be well aware of the caveat that comes w the luxury of living here. They need to abide. Or go home.

oops Oct 24, 2020 06:23 AM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

What a bunch of BS, our businesses and livelihoods should not be held hostage due to the USCB crowds...they don't care about getting sick so we should such a small minority control our destiny. For sure they will continue to party through Halloween so we will continue to be locked down - CRAP!!!!

kane kena Oct 24, 2020 10:41 AM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

7:15, check your math. 12 cases out of 30,000 residents is a rate of 40 per 100K. IV and Santa Maria hotspots are skewing the numbers for the rest of the county. And remember, it doesn't just stay among the residents, it has the capacity to spread among the rest of us. Shut IV and SM down? Unfortunately the rules are on a county basis. Hey IV, after all the social justice energy coming out of there, how about some social responsibility of your own?

gizmo1 Oct 23, 2020 08:48 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

Health Director Reynoso and Supervisor Hart do something inact some type of punishment/ law - the honor system isn’t working as of last time I checked 6 months ago- YOU ARE OUR LEADERS -THIS IS OUR CITY!!!!!!!!- Cabrillo Blvd restarsunts look like Disneyland ( most all from LA) just got back from Santa Monica( most everyone has masks on and all servers ghve plastic face shields)

Voice of Reason Oct 23, 2020 08:03 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

Most likely they were barely sick and I didnt read any of them were hospitalized. Covid spreading around a college community isnt the problem. The problem is how the opening of our businesses, and more importantly our schools, are linked to the number of positive cases in a college fraternity. This isn't science, it's arbitrary rules made by politicians to generically apply to every community in California. Let our community decide what's best for us, what's safest for us, based on all the incatracies of our community.

sacjon Oct 24, 2020 03:31 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

VOICE - I agree with you on this. Our schools need to open based on what the experts say is safe, not whatever color our whole county is in. It's time to force the schools open, whatever the cost. I'm not sitting idly by any longer as my kids are cheated out of an education by a weak and lazy district. This is unacceptable.

ChemicalSuperFreak Oct 23, 2020 08:41 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

It doesn't matter if they were barely sick and weren't hospitalized. They tested positive and were reported, causing our daily case number to rise and that has serious consequences in terms of additional restrictions. I'm sick of the shutdown and was starting to enjoy life in the red tier and looking forward to the orange tier. Of course the rules are arbitrary, and as a researching scientist I've been quite frustrated by impulsive policies set forth by bureaucrats, many of which have been reversed or remain unenforced. I believe that people on both sides of the shutdown argument can appreciate how frustrating this all is.

ChemicalSuperFreak Oct 23, 2020 07:28 PM
Isla Vista COVID-19 Outbreak to Prevent County from Reaching Orange Tier

7.0 is the daily number of new cases per 100,000 people that lands you in the purple tier. Translated into daily numbers, (7.0/100,000)*456,373 = 32 new cases per day if you're just looking day to day for the whole county. Today we had 45 new cases. The average new cases/day for the past 7 days is 29. If not quickly managed, the outbreak in IV will push our average well above 32 new cases per day and we'll be right back in the purple tier. In another post I mentioned that I drove though IV last Saturday night, a day after the UCSB alert about the new cluster of cases. The students were shoulder to shoulder, maskless and in huge numbers. No attempt to slow the outbreak at all and Halloween is just around the corner.

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