County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

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County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients
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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County lays out guidelines for a detailed plan to reopen the economy while the Public Health Department (PHD) releases demographic data of the positive COVID-19 cases.

During Tuesday morning's Board of Supervisor's meeting, PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso shared a series of graphs depicting the latest numbers of the cases throughout the county. The overall data shows a disproportionate number of cases in Hispanic communities.

Based on Monday's total of 416 cases, the Lompoc area represents 40% of cases, however, the majority of those numbers are related to the outbreak at the federal prison. Santa Maria accounts for 24% of cases while Santa Barbara follows at 11%. The outbreak at the Lompoc Prison is about 30% of all confirmed cases in the county with 23% of those representing employees and 77% inmates. The cases are distributed throughout all age groups. The two largest groups are ages 30-49 with 35% and ages 50-69 with 36%.

Of the 416 cases, PHD was able to interview 307 people to formulate data trends. Of the 307 interviewees, 221 are residents and 86 are inmates at the Lompoc prison. For the purpose of highlighting relevant information, only the larger percentages will be reported below.

Significant numbers were presented in terms of race and ethnicity. For the non-prison population, 221 residents, 61% identified their race or ethnicity as Hispanic, and 31% as white. Of the prison population, 48% identified as Hispanic and 43% white. Overall, 54% identified as Hispanic and 24% identified as white. In terms of communication, 77% reported English as their primary language with 19% reporting Spanish.

The data shows the Latino/Hispanic community represents a disproportionately higher number of cases compared to their representation in Santa Barbara County's population. As testing expands and data collection progresses, the distribution by race and ethnicity for cases may change, said Dr. Do-Reynoso. PHD plans to continue outreach to community members whose primary language is Spanish.

The majority of interviewees, 90%, stated they have some form of health insurance with 84% of the total stating they have access to a healthcare provider. PHD will continue conducting outreach and enrollment efforts to those who are uninsured.

For household size, 53% or respondents lived in as household of three to five individuals with 31% living by themselves or with one other person. The median annual income is $50,000 - 75,000 for 19% of respondents, approximately 24% earned below that amount and 26% earned above that amount. In terms of education level, 36% reported some college or technical training from one to three years.

Based on the data analysis, PHD will continue messages about physical distancing and hand washing, as well as partner with businesses and worksite to ensure optimal physical distancing. The majority of respondents, 93%, understood the importance of regular handwashing and were able to practice it before they were sick. 

Additionally, 48% understood the importance of physical distancing and were able to practice it. However, Dr. Do-Reynoso stated it's concerning the rest of the nearly 50% of respondents either did not understand the importance of physical distancing, or they understood the importance but were unable to practice it. 38% of respondents stated its not possible to socially distance at home as well as 36% reporting it's not possible at work.

Looking at the overall percentages of confirmed cases thus far, Santa Barbara County has a lower number than predicted in the models. This is due to Governor Newsom's executive order and efforts by the community to socially distance, said Dr. Do-Reynoso.

However, the number of active cases is still increasing adding a potential for the spread of the virus. There needs to be a consistent decrease in overall cases and hospitalizations over a 14 day period to enact policy changes, said Dr. Do-Reynoso.

Following the Governor's Roadmap of six indicators needed to reopen the economy, the PHD is working to address each indicator. The first point is they are actively negotiating an increase in testing capacity and anticipate an update later this week. They are also working on contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine services to support positive cases.

The second point is working on identifying vulnerable groups and offering testing to make sure support services are in place. The third item is to be in constant communication with healthcare partners to address any potential surges. For the fourth point, develop therapeutics to meet demand, PHD will look to the Governor's office for support. 

PHD is currently in the planning stages with all stakeholders to outline physical distancing measures in businesses, schools, and child care facilities as the fifth point. And for the sixth point, determining when to reinstitute certain measures such as stay at home orders, PHD will look to the Governor and state authorities for guidance while discussing with neighboring counties.

The Economic Reopening Plan Development is estimating four to six weeks to be finalized with a presentation ready for the Board of Supervisors. Their plan outlines the following:

  • Organize a project team to develop a strategic plan for a phased reopening
  • Engage REACH (a tri-county planning group) to assist with the plan and facilitate stakeholder collaboration efforts
  • Identify participants and form Countywide Stakeholder Team related to government, schools and business industries
  • Draft a document and engage Stakeholder Team for comments
  • Finalize Road Map to Phased Reopening for Public Health Director
  • Present to the Board of Supervisors

 

Dr. Do-Reynoso expressed the PHD wants to be consistent with its policies in terms of what is and isn't allowable. When compared to San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, she said Santa Barbara's rates and numbers are different and they're in conversation with both counties to determine what their rationale was to allow certain businesses to operate.

Santa Barbara County CEO Mona Miyasato also stated that reopening the economy will be based on what's allowed due to the Governor's order. She cautioned comparing Santa Barbara county to other counties as some issued stay at home orders before the Governor while Santa Barbara issued the order following the Governor's announcement. She also said some counties had more restrictive orders than what the Governor issued and they are beginning to relax those, where Santa Barbara did not impose stricter guidelines outside of the Governor's order.

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sb93105 Apr 23, 2020 07:21 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

What a joke! There is hyper criticism in markets if one goes the "wrong way" down the bread aisle - yet the labor pick up wall (off garden) has at least 60 men playing cards, hanging out, trying to get day work while getting lunch from a food truck - during the entire lockdown! Geee is it possible the "the disproportionately higher numbers in the latino population" may have something to do with this? This town is run by incompetent PC fools! Everybody needs to get back to work we have done enough. Get over it.

a-1587600731 Apr 22, 2020 05:12 PM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

Just be calm, smart and follow the social distancing guidelines and use PPE (masks) when venturing out and you'll be fine! The vaccine will be here before you know it and if you are high risk, I'm positive you'll be at the front of the line. This virus isn't coming down the street to get you! We will work this out sooner than later .

a-1587596291 Apr 22, 2020 03:58 PM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

This plan is super vague. Here is a summary of what’s written above: 1) Organize a project team, 2) Engage a planning group, 3) Form a team, 4) Draft a document, 5) Finalize a Road Map, 6) Present to the Board of Supervisors. The currently non-working taxpayers of Santa Barbara County are underwriting paid county staff to do this. Just hire a summer intern, have her put together a dozen PowerPoint slides, then show them to the supervisors next week for feedback.

a-1587573388 Apr 22, 2020 09:36 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

The good news is that the red states will serve as the guinea pigs and go back to "normal" before we have to. Let's watch closely and see what happens. Sweden is a terrible comp for the US, as are Asian countries like South Korea for so many reasons. Let's compare to other US states and see what happens, then decide how we move forward.

PitMix Apr 22, 2020 10:10 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

Ironic that Adam is urging local government to break state mandates and see if the state does anything. Wasn't his farm responsible for the big ecoli outbreak a while back? Maybe he was breaking state health laws to see if the state would do anything about it then. Got some pretty big fines as I recall. If you live in a glass house, don't throw stones.

giftedinSB Apr 22, 2020 09:16 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

Regarding the disproportionate number of confirmed cases in the Latino/a community, it is likely due to a lack of awareness. A good friend of mine is a health professional in Santa Maria and serves a primarily Latino/a population. She told me that most of her patients are completely unaware of COVID-19, and many of her patients do not even speak Spanish; they speak a dialect. While dialect speakers may not be prevalent in South County, it is definitely true in North County. Is PHD working to address this obstacle?

giftedinSB Apr 22, 2020 04:10 PM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

HASKEL - nothing about what I wrote implied ignorance. I view ignorance as different from lack of awareness. What I was getting at is this particular population does not have the same resources (e.g., internet access) as most other people, therefore they're not as informed. And yes, while they have eyes and can observe other people walking around in masks, that doesn't mean they know why. Thankfully my friend is caring enough that she takes the time to educate the patients that come in for their appointment, but there are a great many that do not.

haskelslocal Apr 22, 2020 10:41 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

You're assuming human beings aren't aware of their surroundings. This assumption leads to suggesting there's some level of ignorance that exists. None of which is predicated on the ability to speak and/or read a native or secondary language. If I were living in China (not being able to speak or read mandarin) I would be fully aware of what is happening around me. What is more probable is there are pockets of infection that are localized in homes or places of work. This has been demonstrated historically. However, our public health officials have Purposefully chosen NOT to share this pertinent information which could be truly valuable to extinguishing hotspots. Instead these administrators choose to keep all exposure points secretive so that everyone just assumes that the disease is everywhere and you should stay vigilant. They also do it because of politicized arguments that suggest racial and socioeconomic undertones. Not Science.

a-1587573091 Apr 22, 2020 09:31 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

Agree language barrier is contributing factor. I don't think dialect is a big issue in South County, nevertheless - I think we should have sent out cell phone alerts a la amber / emergency alerts in both English and Spanish with COVID awareness information. I know in several other parts of CA they've done this.

a-1587571792 Apr 22, 2020 09:09 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

UN reports more people will die from starvation and the economic downturn than the virus. 1 billion ppl will starve. This doesn’t account for mental illness. If your afraid stay home, I’m sure you guys afraid still have your job or get benefits from the government. The people wanting to go back to work are business owners and others that are not getting money from the gov, and owe money during this time for our businesses. Self employed individuals will get $167 starting beg of May. This is a joke. If u want ppl to not go to work, we need more than $167 a week. I went from making over $7000 a month to $0 then to $167 a week, plus I owe my rent for my business and business expenses, mortgage, 4 mouths to feed. I’d rather stay home If that’s safer, but I need to provide for my family and I’m willing to risk my life so we don’t lose everything.

a-1587573225 Apr 22, 2020 09:33 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

I sympathize. But imagine if we didn't have to risk our lives in order to avoid total devastation... that's what UBI is about. I'm not saying I'm for or against. But maybe it's something we should think about and discuss more even though Andrew Yang is long gone from the presidential race. Anything is possible. I can already see the downvotes I'm going to get for this post. Sigh.

SantaBarbaraObserver Apr 22, 2020 10:29 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

I feel great Sam, thanks for your concern. What I also find great is how during these trying times, the hypocrisy, greed and myopia of the "Right" and especially "Trumpsters" comes crashing down. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How long are you going to hold onto your "ideals", when you need to eat and pay your bills? How long are you going to hold onto your political positions when your Mother needs a ventilator in order to live? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We are watching a great awaking occur. For when its suddenly your problem, not theirs, that you become "woke" to the truth. Welcome to enlightenment Sam!

SantaBarbaraObserver Apr 22, 2020 10:00 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

So you didnt save enough for the rainy days? My thoughts and prayers to you and your family during such hard times. Jesus will save you, wont he? Or maybe you should have saved more of your money - like a good 'conservative'. You do realise that asking for and relying on government handouts makes you a weak, socialist, liberal...

Xantus Apr 22, 2020 09:33 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

@frederick, do tell us. what exactly do those people need to "learn the hard way"? that if someone you know gets sick, you should blame society? shut down everything?
if the 'lockdown til we have a vaccine' crew gets their way....we'll all be "learning the hard way" about the mortality rates of poverty (which is far more transmissible and devastating than COVID ;) there's many studies about the widespread effects of poverty, it's actually what we've specifically spent the last several decades trying to eradicate)

mtndriver Apr 22, 2020 08:33 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

I don’t think so, Luvaduck. Those are confirmed cases so the people being counted would have been experiencing symptoms for some time before getting tested, and then there is a wait for test results. They were probably infected three weeks or so before their tests were confirmed. And it would be easy to track a group that all went to the same party or whatever. If you look at who’s getting sick, the prison is the big hot spot.

a-1587566175 Apr 22, 2020 07:36 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

$40 million in the hole and counting, yet they now want to assemble a panel to discuss things for 6 weeks. Seems every time a decision needs to made, these overpaid reps run to group sessions and paid for consultants. Further, they are suggesting that Covid has disproportionately and inequitably targeted the Latino population. They are implying Covid has acted racially suggesting Latinos are inequitably represented in society. What? They ignore knowingly that they are referencing an inefficient sample size, and that there is ABSOLUTELY no way the disease distribution should be correlated to race. But here we are! Worst of all, out of 417 people who have presented with Covid, this administrative group has Lost Track of nearly 100 patients! What? How in the world can you not find them? Where did they go? Who were they? So now there's no way to follow up on their health or gather additional data from them for the benefit of public health? If you take the prison inmates out of the total (who obviously can be located), this means the county has thus (in less then one month) lost track of nearly 30% of all of the patients who presented. This is inexcusable.

Luvaduck Apr 22, 2020 08:01 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

It should be manditory for entry into any store. At the very least it shows solidarity in the wish to protect others. I picked up meds at Rite Aide and everyone was wearing one except a Latino group, & what appeared to be an extended southeast Asian family and a heavy-set white woman picking up diabetic supplies. These are the groups that are being hit the hardest. The various distributions don't lie. Putting politically-correctness in place harms these populations and makes them more vulnerable since it hides their vulnerability.

m-cubed Apr 22, 2020 05:55 AM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

This is the only paragraph that came across as 'plannish' to me:
"However, the number of active cases is still increasing adding a potential for the spread of the virus. There needs to be a consistent decrease in overall cases and hospitalizations over a 14 day period to enact policy changes, said Dr. Do-Reynoso."

sblocal1967 Apr 21, 2020 07:38 PM
County Creates Plan to Reopen Economy, Public Health Releases Data on COVID-19 Patients

Can we get a breakdown of cases by zip code? Why? More precise info allows people to be more precise in their action to avoid CV. Dr Do appears to be in way over her head. How do people get elevated to these positions without some level of acumen to get stuff done. We have a City Manager making almost $300K per year - what is he doing during this crisis to manage our city? I would think that with a salary this size we could attract better talent vs. just another sloth living off of tax payers. Can our Mayor and City Administrator provide some game plan - some communication that lets us know what they are doing to get the city open again. I do not want to see a video of our Mayor or Dr Ho visiting the beach to see people practicing social distancing. Given he short fall in revenue the city is expecting it is time to level set what we pay the nimrods in city management. Blah Blah Blah

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