County Announces COVID-19 Ambassadors to Assist Local Businesses
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart announced COVID-19 Ambassadors will assist local businesses with reopening and guideline compliance.
During Friday's press conference, Hart stated the volunteer group will wear blue shirts and directly assist newly open businesses with safe operating guidelines and education.
More than 1,500 local businesses have already self-certified through the county's website.
Hart stated the county is looking at the bigger picture of reopening and understands there is a learning curve for everyone but hope they can integrate quickly.
Officials are hoping to avoid moving backwards by imposing stricter guidelines due to spikes in COVID-19 cases such as Lassen and Sonoma Counties.
Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg reported 13 new community cases as of Friday, bringing the total to 1,649.
Of the total, 971 belong to the federal prison in Lompoc with 678 in the community. Of the community cases, 537 have fully recovered, 88 are quarantined at home, 28 are hospitalized with 9 in the intensive care unit (ICU), and 15 are pending information.
From the 678 total of community cases, 314 are located in the City of Santa Maria. Dr. Ansorg stated he still grapples with this fact but the health department is still looking for the answer as to why the numbers are so much higher in this area.
Interviews have been completed and data has been put together and they are certain the outbreak is spread throughout the city and not in specific neighborhoods, he said. There has been an increase in community outreach to raise more awareness of the virus and the guidelines and a concentrated lab drive for testing to identify sources of infection.
"It's a work in progess," he said.
Dr. Ansorg stated there will be a pause for another week or two before any new restrictions are rolled back, to assess the impact of the new activities. Once the health department is assured the numbers have not increased, they will suggest safely moving into the next stage.
More information on COVID-19 cases can be found at publichealthsbc.org