108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing title=
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown (center) standing with newly sworn in Deputies in December 2020 [Photo: SB Sheriff's Office]
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This story was originally published by the Santa Barbara Independent and is reproduced here in partnership with Edhat.


By Tyler Hayden of The Independent

Eight weeks after Santa Barbara initiated a vaccine-or-test mandate for all county workers, 108 unvaccinated Sheriff’s deputies still have not submitted to the weekly tests, according to data from the county’s Human Resources Department. The group accounts for 37 percent of the Sheriff’s Office’s 292 “law enforcement deputies,” most of whom are on patrol assignments. All 250 of the department’s “custody deputies” at the Main Jail, however, are either vaccinated or actively testing, the data shows.

The holdouts remain concerned about the privacy of their medical information, said Joe Pisano, an employee relations chief with Human Resources. They are uncomfortable with how much information they are being asked to provide, he explained, as well as its security when it is collected, along with their test results, by an outside testing company and ultimately shared with the California Department of Public Health. There has also been worry raised that the company, which counts a former tech executive among its directors, will attempt to somehow monetize the information. “I don’t share these concerns, but I understand them,” Pisano said.

Pisano said he has been meeting nearly every week since September with members of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA) union, which represents 94 of the untested deputies. “It’s just a difficult issue,” he said. Not all of the members may feel as strongly about the matter as their DSA leadership, he said, “but they tend to band together.” It’s also not clear when the county may decide to take a stronger stance, Pisano went on, but he’s hopeful negotiations will conclude before any disciplinary action is necessary. “We’re not trying to stress people out,” he said. Changing testing companies may be one of the solutions.

Supervisor Das Williams, who has enjoyed considerable support from the DSA during recent elections, said he’s “anxious” for the talking to end and the swabbing to begin. Sheriff Bill Brown pushed back against the characterization that the deputies are simply refusing to be tested. ‘“Refusing’ is really not an accurate description of what is happening,” he said. Complicating matters is the fact that the DSA is in separate negotiations with the county over their 2022 employment agreement. 

DSA president Sgt. Neil Gowing blamed the holdup mainly on scheduling issues. “Most of the delays are just due to getting dates scheduled that work for all of the parties to actually sit down and talk and work out the details,” he said. “But we are making good progress.” Gowing said the DSA will continue working with the county to “get all the details worked out as soon as we possibly can, while making sure we don’t neglect our duties and oath to the community members we serve and the victims we advocate for.” 

Meanwhile, Santa Barbara County is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the midst of winter holidays and spread of the Omicron variant. Active cases have increased 6 percent in the past two weeks, while the daily case rate per 100,000 unvaccinated residents jumped from 16.6 to 24.1. Hospitalizations went up 34 percent in the same time frame, and intensive care admissions rose 120 percent. Statewide, the daily average of new infections has risen 50 percent since Thanksgiving.

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a-1640240736 Dec 22, 2021 10:25 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

Wow. These poor nurses. This is extremely poor if not illegal performance on the part of these paramedics. I don't know how nurses bear it.

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2021/12/21/police-rialto-fire-paramedics-cite-covid-refused-help-man-heart-attack/

James B Dec 22, 2021 01:38 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

Being deputies who are professional interrogation experts themselves, they know the amount and kind of information they are being required to provide goes way above and beyond what is necessary for this simple procedure and it is causing suspicions and concern. And rightly so.

Babycakes Dec 22, 2021 10:29 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

I think it's about time to simmer it down a tad instead of ranting on about things that you cannot change. One thing I know about "sales" is that you never/ever/ever/EVER make a "sale" by insulting the customer. In this case the "customer" is each of the LE officers who many here are calling idiots/stupid/selfish/etc. It does not help that those in government in charge of messaging have done such a poor job. Why aren't the cable/tv news organizations announcing the number of dead at the beginning of each broadcast? They were doing that for a year or so, but then stopped the nightly "death count" ...it does not make sense that they stopped doing this as it certainly drove home a point.

a-1640184574 Dec 22, 2021 06:49 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

What I don't get is the refusal to be tested. You can take a test at home, no questions asked. Why would somebody who signed up to protect the public not even want to ensure that they are not spreading a virus?

sacjon Dec 22, 2021 11:23 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

8:20 - Explain, exactly, how HIPAA (not HIPPA as I'm sure you know), protects them from taking covid tests?

"Monetize the information???" What information? "Officer Joe Selfishjerk is negative." Oooohhhh... yeah better not let that gem get to the Chinese! Who knows what evil plans they'll develop with the COVID status of the cops? Hahahaha you all are freaking hilarious!

sacjon Dec 22, 2021 11:19 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

6:49 - "Why would somebody who signed up to protect the public not even want to ensure that they are not spreading a virus?" Because they don't give a rat's butt about the public. There is absolutely NO excuse for this. Refusing to vax and refusing to test while demanding you keep your job and interact with the public in close physical quarters is INEXCUSABLE.

a-1640190041 Dec 22, 2021 08:20 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

It's right there in the article, HIPPA doesn't get tossed aside because the governor made a new mandate with temporary emergency powers that he's hung onto for nearly 2 years:

The holdouts remain concerned about the privacy of their medical information, said Joe Pisano, an employee relations chief with Human Resources. They are uncomfortable with how much information they are being asked to provide, he explained, as well as its security when it is collected, along with their test results, by an outside testing company and ultimately shared with the California Department of Public Health. There has also been worry raised that the company, which counts a former tech executive among its directors, will attempt to somehow monetize the information

Shasta Guy Dec 21, 2021 04:36 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

I am vaccinated. I wear my mask indoors as required. If someone I’m with is overly Covid sensitive, I wear my mask for them. If someone wants to wear their mask when the situation doesn’t require it, I don’t make a peep.

I don’t care about Covid anymore means I don’t pay any attention to excessively high fear factor media reporting about Covid. I don’t look at any Covid statistics. I don’t care about anyone’s vaccination status. I’m sorry for all the people living in extreme fear as if Covid is the Black Plague and Ebola rolled into one.

Because of Covid measures, my brother was forced to postpone a follow up colonoscopy. He finally got it scheduled earlier this year only to find out he has stage 3 colon cancer, and now he is in the battle of his life. Had Covid not so interfered with normal diagnostic procedures, his cancer would have been detected earlier with better chances of survival.

sacjon Dec 22, 2021 03:40 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

VOICE - just when I thought you couldn't lie even further.... "This is why you and 8:55 are absolutely incorrect in claiming that the delayed medical procedures last year were (100% as you claim) the result of "people who didn't follow the shutdown and masking recommendations, flooding hospitals with COVID patients"

That is NOT what I said, NOT AT ALL. I said that the statement that most ICU patients were those who didn't follow restrictions is "100% accurate." READ. IT. AGAIN. I stand by it.

Further, you don't even bother to take into account the cold hard FACT that the majority of ICU patients are UNVACCINATED. By definition, those are the people who don't follow the recommended precautions. (See again your own favorite source, The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/23/covid-patients-in-icu-now-almost-all-unvaccinated-says-oxford-scientist).

You proved, once again, nothing other than you are incapable of simple reading comprehension and an unabashed LIAR.

a-1640216350 Dec 22, 2021 03:39 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

quick follow up, those people who were going to gym without masks, those regular gym attendees and athletic folk, they weren't the ones going to the hospital if/when they got covid. How many fewer covid deaths would there have been had we mandated 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week?

a-1640215867 Dec 22, 2021 03:31 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

Your and 8:55's claim is false and not supported by facts.

1) 60% + of the covid deaths last year were in people over 75, you really think people 75 + weren't taking precautions? What about all the people in long-term or elderly care facilities, nope, no precautions there, they were "looking for it" as you state?

2) Then there is NY City, who said that "66% of new hospitalizations in New York for Covid-19 were people who had been staying home. This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home. We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.” Hmm....

3) Then there's the CDC "Recently published data from a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that 70.6% of COVID-19-positive patients report “always” wearing a mask, 14.4% report “often” wearing a mask, and 3.9% report “never” wearing a mask (See Table: Reported use of cloth face covering or mask 14 days before illness onset.)" Which isn't a surprise because masks are marginally effective in the best case but the people using them were certainly "taking precautions".

4) MOST IMPORTANTLY, it ignores that the State of CA shutdown all non-elective surgeries and procedures, which believe it or not, includes cancers screenings (all the while marijuana was an essential service…). This is why you and 8:55 are absolutely incorrect in claiming that the delayed medical procedures last year were (100% as you claim) the result of "people who didn't follow the shutdown and masking recommendations, flooding hospitals with COVID patients"

You want to blame someone for this blame the State of CA for shutting down non-emergency medical services. Blame the media for scaring the beejeezes out of everyone so they were too afraid to go to their own doctor.

sacjon Dec 22, 2021 02:07 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

VOICE - " only those that refused to stay home and take any precautions were the majority of ICU cases." That doesn't even make sense. Stop throwing only and always around so much. How do you even dispute that though? The majority of people getting covid were the ones out basically looking for it and refusing to hunker down during that initial year. Just look at those states that had no restrictions at the beginning of this. Look at Florida and Texas in the summer of 2020. Their numbers were the same, and many times HIGHER than CA's with HALF the population. Now, it's the unvaxxed who make up the majority of deaths/ICU cases. Here's the proof on that: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/23/covid-patients-in-icu-now-almost-all-unvaccinated-says-oxford-scientist.

To say none of that is true is mind blowing and insanity.

sacjon Dec 22, 2021 01:44 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

11:52 (VOICE again?) - 8:55's comment is 100% verifiably true. Those who refused to stay home, take any precautions, etc during the initial spikes of COVID were the majority of ICU inhabitants (until they died). This is a fact and it's easily proven. Also, many people on here back then were flaunting their disregard of any restrictions. Again, easily proven. So, both statements by 8:55 are 100% accurate and you are, once again completely WRONG.

dukemunson Dec 22, 2021 07:05 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

855pm - Wait, but Masking in an indoor gym IS obviously quite silly! There are settings where masks make sense, but seriously… Stay home from the gym if you are worried about getting Covid from the gym.

a-1640148907 Dec 21, 2021 08:55 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

4:36 - You do realize that the delays in medical procedures were as a result of the behavior of people who didn't follow the shutdown and masking recommendations, flooding hospitals with COVID patients? You know, people who still wanted to go to indoor gyms, and refused to mask while in them? Some of those people even bragged about it here.

sacjon Dec 21, 2021 05:11 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

VOICE at 4:57 (this is just getting silly now) - of COURSE we all know it had collateral damage. My kids suffered from remote learning. My family lost two close family members and we were unable to mourn together. Our income was devastated by losing business. It has been devastating to all! How dare you keep spouting your imbecilic all or nothing mantra though! We've all lost, but imagine how much more we would have lost had we not taken immediate and drastic action. It's absolutely absurd and morally deficient to try to say our response was not effective in saving untold thousands, if not millions, of lives.

a-1640134645 Dec 21, 2021 04:57 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

For the past year many here kept acting like our response to covid had no collateral damage, or if it did, it was purely economic. Thank you for sharing your story Shasta and best wishes to your brother.

Babycakes Dec 21, 2021 04:00 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

It is interesting to see how some of the "fire them" and "F the cops" folks (macpuzzel, sacjon, sbo, and so on) are now leaning toward supporting these officers and their medical decisions. Thank goodness because it seemed for a moment or 2 like I was living in an alternate universe! LOL!!!

yin yang Dec 21, 2021 06:56 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

Bcakes, this is like your posting a joking reply to posts criticizing you. I can't follow your arguments; not sure you can either. You always seem to slide between two poles of argument.
I have read nothing that indicates that the posters you mention have changed their position on this issue.
Even when I've posted after drinking, I've never been as inconsistent as you!

sacjon Dec 21, 2021 05:13 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

BABY - 1) "fire them" and "f the cops" are 2 different things. I never said f the cops. 2) How on earth to you get from any comments here that I am leaning toward supporting them? FIRE THEM NOW. The are refusing to follow orders and putting the public at risk. They had a choice. They made it and now they have to accept the consequences. Let them pull up their bootstraps and be adults. No more participation trophies!

Shasta Guy Dec 21, 2021 07:28 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

If you believe in the efficacy of the vaccines, then why should the existence of some unvaccinated person out there whom you will never meet make you crazy. We need to stop feeding Covid hysteria. I don’t care about Covid at all anymore.

a-1640143623 Dec 21, 2021 07:27 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

"ShastaGuy" I hope you seek out other outlets than posting here, even under a screen name, where you will be attacked.
Nothing wrong with therapy and online support groups, including grief groups. I hope you consider other outlets.

SantaBarbaraObserver Dec 21, 2021 08:15 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

ME ME ME! ME!!!!!!! MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

People like this are the worst type of citizen. The worst kind of Patriot. And, the worst type of neighbor and human being. They are selfish, awful people. But fear not fellow Humans! Karma will assure that these awful, selfish, greedy people get what they deserve.

She doesn't care what they think, who they kneel towards and where they went to school. She only cares how they treat other people. You may not be scared of Covid Shatsta Guy, but Karma does. And she doesn't take repentance or tearful apologies as payment. Good luck!

SantaBarbaraObserver Dec 21, 2021 08:34 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

Apparently you're not familiar with American law. Sign a DNR? You're not going on a ventilator. Have a living will? They'll follow the orders laid out in the doc...

Choose not to get a vaccine? It should come with a DNR. After all, you're choosing your own care. You're in charge of your dominion! Including your financial obligations.

We are very close to health insurance companies no longer covering patients who CHOOSE not to follow medical advice for the vaccine. Which will just accelerate the bankruptcy of the anti-government medicine crowd (most of which are already on the edge of poverty).

If you believe in your body autonomy, then put your signature on a DNR. Otherwise you're just a scared, little-bity, whiney, hypocrite, unwilling to hold to their convictions when it matters... In other words a cowardice, yellowbelly, selfish, jerk.

Don't want the vaccine? Fine. Sign a DNR and accept your fate. The odds are not good, but then again stupid people are often baffled by basic math.

a-1640103826 Dec 21, 2021 08:23 AM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

That's a horrible thing to say SB Walker, I hope in your time of need some medical administrator doesn't poor over your decision making history to determine if you're worthy of healthcare.

a-1640068331 Dec 20, 2021 10:32 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

The anti-vax behavior by the sheriffs, and the comments here supporting their ignorance, would make a great example for a class on agnotology.

An old article, but very prescient:

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160105-the-man-who-studies-the-spread-of-ignorance

edney Dec 20, 2021 07:59 PM
108 Unvaccinated Santa Barbara Deputies Still Not Testing

The unvaccinated do not pass on a stronger variant than the vaxxed and boostered. The variant attacks and causes greater symptoms to the unvaccinated.
Science says that the vaccinated and boostered still may get the Omicron variant, they will be contagious, and they may have no symptoms. They may pass on symptoms because they may not know or feel they are sick. They will also possibly be filled with hubris, which is not medically scientific, but readily noticed

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