County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region title=
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Chair Gregg Hart during Tuesday's meeting
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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to send a letter to the Governor asking to be removed from the Southern California region in the recent Regional Stay at Home Order.

Santa Barbara is banding together with San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties to propose its own "Central Coast" region. Ventura County Supervisors also approved sending a letter on Tuesday with San Luis Obispo supervisors still to vote on the action.

The current "Southern California" region created by the state includes Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. This incorporates over 23 million people. San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbra, and Ventura counties include nearly 1.5 million people.

The current order forces the entire Southern California region to shut down when the collective intensive care unit (ICU) capacity reaches below 15%. As of Tuesday, this number was at 10.1% for the region.

Officials from the three neighboring counties expressed the current order is unfair as the Central Coast does not have the higher COVID-19 transmission rates and lack of ICU space that larger Southern California counties have. Being in this region will prevent the Central Coast from positively moving forward due to a high prevalence of the disease in larger areas.

During Tuesday's meeting, Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso stated the counties will ask to exit the stay at home order after three weeks if the ICU capacity in the three counties exceeds 15% and is expected to stay on that course based on the four-week ICU bed capacity projection.

Do-Reynoso said all three counties have a history of collaboration and partnership and will coordinate joint prevention and treatment efforts to reduce COVID-19 case rates and testing positivity.

"We are confident that this is a regional approach and we will be working together across the three counties to propose this to discuss this feasibility with our state counterparts," said Do-Reynoso.

The Board listened to nearly fifty public comments from local residents and business orders asking to be removed from the stay at home order. 

The motion passed unanimously for the county to send a letter to the Governor.

Update to COVID-19 Numbers

During the same meeting, Do-Reynoso also gave an update on COVID-19 data and hospitalizations.

From November 23 to December 7, Santa Barbara County had a 12% increase in COVID-19 cases. There are now 643 active cases, an 87% increase. This is also a 44% increase from the last peak of cases at 444 in July with the all-time peak being 950 cases in May.

New COVID-19 cases are popping up all over the county with a 20% increase in Santa Maria and a 75% increase in Lompoc. Isla Vista has seen a significant decrease from 37 cases to just 18 cases. 

There are currently 54 hospitalizations, an 157% increase during this period, including 15 people in the ICU which is a 150% increase.

Do-Reynoso released more specific data on comorbidities for hospitalizations and deaths. Of the 922 total hospitalizations, 45.4% of people did not have comorbidities. Of those who did have one comorbidity, 31% had diabetes, 17.8% were obese, and 14.4% had serious heart conditions.

There have been 138 total deaths. Of those, 24 had the only cause of death listed on their death certificate as COVID-19 with 53 deaths including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and/or obesity. The remaining 61 deaths had COVID-19 and other causes listed on the death certificate.

Half of all hospitalizations were people over 50 years of age with the Hispanic/Latinx population being disproportionately represented compared to population size. 

The common length of stay was up to five days with 16% of hospitalizations having a length of over 15 days.

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

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Voice of Reason Dec 08, 2020 03:06 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

@2:45 who do you think has been filling up our restaurants on downtown areas for the past 6 months... LA! Our local businesses really stepped up to the plate, enacted all the recommended safety precautions and best practices and none of these businesses are where the spread in SB county is coming from.

Voice of Reason Dec 08, 2020 03:18 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

According to the SBPHD, homes and private gatherings are the biggest contributor. A few restaurateurs spoke at the meeting today, one said they've served over 15,000 people without any of their staff testing positive. Do you think closing outdoor dinning is going to increase the number of private gathers or decrease? Where do you think it would be safer for people to meet, in an outdoor restaurant with trained staff, sanitization, and distanced tables or a backyard BBQ? If you haven't realized it yet, telling people not to socialize for 9+ months isn't an option.

PitMix Dec 08, 2020 04:05 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

VOR, it's not one or the other. People going to restaurants can also have private gatherings. In fact, I would say that if you go to restaurants with strangers, you almost assuredly feel comfortable having your friends and family over. Restaurants should offer takeout, and people should stay home as much as possible.

letmego Dec 08, 2020 04:43 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Actually, there's still a fair bit of "community transmission" - for everyone who seems to think that it's only family parties and not restaurants and bars. For reference, "close contact" is being < 6 ft away from someone who has COVID (or later known to have COVID) for 15 minutes - parties, offices, roommates, etc. "Community contact" is defined as not having contact with a known case AND having no recent travel. So, they picked it up somewhere in the community.

Month Close contact Community
July 1420 487
Aug 759 531
Sept 449 342
Oct 305 209
Nov 591 373

Community spread is still significant here. (Nevermind the thousands of "unknowns" from people who don't respond.)

Voice of Reason Dec 08, 2020 04:46 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Pit, you tip toed around my question. Do you think closing outdoor dinning is going to increase or decrease the number of private gatherings? Most importantly, please don't forget you and everyone else are free to stay home and stay safe. No one is forcing you to do anything you're not comfortable doing.

AQUAHOLIC Dec 08, 2020 02:58 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Pros & Cons to the above plan:

Pro: Less restrictions, more people will come to SB
Con: Less restrictions, more people will come to SB

C'mon people, the Virus can only move around when we move around. It's that simple.
Yes, it's economically bad to be shut down, but it's also bad to die out by the hospital dumpster because every bed is full.
Please don't do this Santa Barbara. It's a terrible idea.
We are not going to get past this nightmare if we don't: follow the science, wear a mask, social distance, don't gather, STAY at HOME.
It's going to hurt either way.

madhatter Dec 08, 2020 03:44 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

It makes sense to be in the same group as LA. If SB does not have the same restrictions in place as LA it’s just an invitation for LA people to come up to SB to be ‘free’ and bring or spread the virus amongst our community. SB needs to be in the same group as LA as there is too much cross over or influence between our areas. It’s, hopefully, only 3 weeks.

Shmonk Dec 08, 2020 04:01 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Not really seeing the logic here. Santa Barbara should be in the same group as Los Angeles County because... people from LA can drive 2 hours to get here? Most spread done through private gatherings. These private events can still happen even with all local businesses shut down and hemorrhaging money

a-1607473035 Dec 08, 2020 04:17 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Actually, SCHMONK, you just bent the narrative to fit your beliefs. Private gatherings AND dining out have been identified by the CDC as the leading causes of COVID spread. And yes, LA folks absolutely can, will, and do travel 2 hours for a fun day in SB!

ChemicalSuperFreak Dec 08, 2020 06:54 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

I'll take that bet. While the positive case has shot up dramatically and the raw number of COVID hospitalizations has increased, the number of COVID patients in the hospital, the ICU and on ventilators has not increased proportionally. In fact, the % COVID positive patients in the hospital, ICU and ventilators has actually DECREASED, as defined by hospitalized/active*100, etc. Currently we have 50% of the ICUs available, and that's will only 99 beds. At one time we had 150 available, so they're not even using the full capacity. Santa Barbara is not Los Angeles. Stop scaring people.

420722 Dec 08, 2020 07:14 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

DPJ- SF and LA have already been coming here every month during and after the last take out only mandate ended. Restaurants and other small businesses are not the real problem. Servers and cooks would be dropping like flies if that were the case after serving thousands of maskless patrons. Did you even read this article where business owners spoke out saying no cases occurred for their employees after serving upwards of 15,000 people? I’d say that’s pretty damn good news. Have people gather in public OUTSIDE because they’re going anyways. Patio dining was probably mitigating some, not all but some private gatherings. I’m pro-business and pro-protection! Both are achievable.

sblocal1967 Dec 08, 2020 07:43 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Does anyone know if they are keeping stats on SB County Covid rates (excluding front line workers) relative to a person's IQ. I suspect early on IQ was not not a determining factor - but recently it has to be a huge indicator. With so many people social distancing and wearing masks for someone to get Covid right now the people involved have to be complete idiots. You literally have to interact with someone you do not know in close proximity for an extended period of time. Who is doing this? I can understand youngsters who are in good health - but if you are obese, diabetic, or have some shitty health condition, then what are you thinking? Darwin is literally saying "I told you so".

PitMix Dec 08, 2020 08:13 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

It seems amazing to me that everyone is focusing on the Governor in this. Like he doesn't have staff of 100s advising him on this, and a government of 1000s backing him up. But sure, let's all blame him for our troubles. My dogs didn't listen to me the other day, that's got to be his fault too.

sacjon Dec 09, 2020 09:06 AM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

VOR - really? See my comment to 420722 about blame. And so what if we blamed the President of the United States for things that happened on his watch and for which he was directly responsible. Of course we did. That's how it works. When you're the Pres, you are in charge, ergo... when things go wrong at your hands, you get blamed. I'm surprised at your surprise here.

Voice of Reason Dec 09, 2020 09:23 AM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Sac, this difference is Trump could not have prevented the virus from infecting the US. Newsom has full control over restaurant's outdoor operations. Pit, Trump is the result of decades political disfunction and the peoples desire for this to change. This wasn't/isn't a red or a blue thing, it's that the political establishment/elites on both sides weren't working for the people. The Democrats had several potential candidates to appease this desire for change who could have beat Trump hands downs, but they went with Clinton and Biden instead.

sacjon Dec 09, 2020 09:29 AM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

VOR - you can't let Trump off the hook and then in the very same breath blame Newsom. Trump didn't bring the virus here, no. But, he DID fail to do ANYTHING to prevent its spread and even encouraged his followers to ignore it as a liberal hoax all the while knowing it was a deadly disease. Are you seriously going to say our blame for his handling of this is misplaced? Trump did everything he could to slow the spread? I know you're intelligent, please don't let me down.

420722 Dec 08, 2020 09:08 PM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

Doesn’t look like we’re doing much better than those horrific red states smarty pants. Pit-that is hilarious coming from a person who’s party blames orangey for hurricanes, homeless encampments and everything else in between lmao. Thanks for the evening chuckles.

Voice of Reason Dec 09, 2020 08:46 AM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

GT: It doesn't fit your narrative but FYI, it IS spreading wildly in every state in our nation no matter the governors political affiliation. Except maybe that tiny island in the middle of the Pacific with great weather where everyone can get plenty of fresh air year-round.

sacjon Dec 09, 2020 08:52 AM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

VOR - Just curious, are you saying there are less cases in Hawaii because of the nice weather? If so, aside from the whole being an island thing, how does that then explain our rising cases? We have had sunny and relatively warm days since last spring and yet our cases are going up.

sacjon Dec 09, 2020 09:01 AM
County Approves Sending Governor Letter to be Removed from SoCal Region

420722 - come on now, chastising liberals for blaming Trump for things? You Republicans are still blaming Hilary and Obama for current problems. Trumps entire presidency was based on blaming predecessors and former candidates' emails. No one is innocent of playing the blame game, but there is definitely a winner. Hint: His lawyer blamed a man who's been dead since 2013 for the 2020 election......

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