County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day title=
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day
99 Comments
Reads 15917

By edhat staff

The Public Health Department (PHD) reports the Santa Barbara County intensive care unit (ICU) availability has now fallen to 0% as the county reported its highest COVID-19 in a single day.

Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said the situation in Santa Barbara County is now "dire."

"In light of our current situation, I am at a loss. I honestly don't know what to say anymore. Many people are blatantly disregarding all warnings," he said during a press conference on Tuesday.

On Monday alone there were 456 new COVID-19 cases, six deaths, and 1,949 active cases. All of these metrics were at the highest level the county has ever seen been since the beginning of the pandemic, said PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso.


Graph of daily COVID-19 cases from March to present-day (Source: SBC Public Health)

On Tuesday, an additional 341 new cases and seven deaths were reported. All individuals were over 70 years of age, five had underlying health conditions, and four were associated with an outbreak at a congregate living facility. Two individuals resided in the City of Santa Barbara, two were from the City of Santa Maria, one resided in the City of Goleta, one resided in the unincorporated area of Goleta, and one in the Santa Ynez Valley.

This brings total deaths to 173. The active case count is now 2,105 with 172 hospitalizations including 55 in the ICU.

Dr. Do-Reynoso stated hospitals are running out of staffed ICU beds and started using surge beds a few days ago as the county's capacity is now below 1%. Hospitals are now preparing for crisis care, meaning, a person with health needs other than COVID-19 may not receive the health care they'd normally expect.

Hospitals surge protocol works to repurpose staff and rooms to accommodate infectious patients while and discharging patients in a timely fashion while also working with ambulances to determine who really needs emergency care and who can be redirected, said Dr. Ansorg.

Additionally, the testing positivity and case rates are at record highs, nearly seven-times the threshold for the widespread transmission threshold to reopen businesses. In December alone there have been 28 outbreaks in businesses in nearly every sector and 48 outbreaks at congregate care settings. 

"What used to be less risky is now risky given the widespread infection in our county," said Dr. Do-Reynoso.

Officials reaffirmed, yet again, that the increase in cases and deaths is directly related to travel and gathering during the holidays. The current spike is directly attributed to Thanksgiving while we have yet to see the spike from the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

"I understand that people are tired of the pandemic, however, denial of the facts only makes things worse. There are behaviors that are most risky for instance traveling and gathering especially when not wearing masks," said Dr. Ansorg.


Graph of staffed adult ICU bed availability from August 2020 to December 2020 (Source: SBC Public Health)

Vaccination Update

Santa Barbara County has administered 54% of its vaccine allotment so far, said Dr. Do-Reynoso. PHD is currently focusing on Phase 1a that vaccinates acute care healthcare workers, staff and residents in long term care setting serving older and high risk, EMS personnel, and dialysis center staff.

PHD has 42 approved vaccination sites as providers are ramping up their logistics preparing for distribution. By next week PHD is planning to offer 350-500 vaccines per day culminating in 1,000 doses per day by early February.

The community at large is expected to be able to receive the vaccine by March or April. 

More information about vaccine distribution can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/.

Login to add Comments

99 Comments

Show Comments
giftedinSB Jan 07, 2021 01:10 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

I have a friend who is a licensed psychologist and she told me that we have now moved from "pandemic fatigue" to "pandemic rage". So I don't think people are going to be following public health guidelines. If they weren't before, they won't now. Honestly, I know people who have gotten COVID-19 and they still aren't taking it seriously because it was such a mild case.

ChemicalSuperFreak Jan 06, 2021 06:21 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Landshark, there are 84 ICU beds and 75 total ICU patients, 55 of which have CV. There are 10 ICU Surge Beds in use, but they are either part of the 55 in use or being counted outside the system (Sears location perhaps). Either way, we have 9 ICU beds left in SB County...for now. This is the "actual" availability, which is 10.7%. The "adjusted" ICU availability, which is calculated using a CPDH formula, is the number that is at 0% right now.

PitMix Jan 06, 2021 03:06 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

They have some beds for covid patients, and some beds for other patients (because people are still having strokes and heart attacks and getting run over on the 101), and not enough staff for all beds. So when you see some numbers, hopefully they will tell you exactly which beds and staffing levels they are looking at. And the people writing the story may not understand the complexities, so the info they convey might be confusing. It makes for some interesting comments though.

42224242244424224 Jan 06, 2021 02:01 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

"Can someone please translate this comment into understandable?"
lol
I'll spell it out for you.
When there are people that interact with hundreds of people everyday and haven't worn masks for this entire pandemic, it doesn't make sense to increase restrictions on people that have very little interaction with others.

sacjon Jan 06, 2021 04:01 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

JONES13 - good grief, please stop asking anonymous people in an internet chat room about matters of personal safety. Wear a mask! Avoid close contact with others. If you want to be with someone, be prepared to isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially spreading it to others. This is all common knowledge right now. You're either just trolling for an argument, or, if you're sincerely asking, then you need to watch/read the news.

SBTownie Jan 06, 2021 03:31 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Jones, it's ok if you're cool with potentially killing someone. If you're young, it's unlikely it will be you. But the grandma you pass it via her daughter and sole carer who is shopping at the same store as you and inadvertently gets infected because you've given them the new and highly transmissable new strain could die. If you're okay with that, I suggest doing some soul searching.

Voice of Reason Jan 06, 2021 02:23 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Jones, if two people want to get together that is them to decide if they want to wear masks or not. We need to provide people with current, accurate information and empower them to make good decisions on their own. Will everyone make good decisions? No, of course not. But we'll gain (or would have gained) greater compliance if we provide accurate information, guidance and support rather than scare tactics, threats, and mandates.

a-1609961352 Jan 06, 2021 11:29 AM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Assuming this is real question Jonesy, the problem is that neither can be sure that the other is not positive. If they live together in quarantine for 10 days or so and do not show symptoms they can probably assume masks were not needed. I hope you are friends with this person you want to spend unmasked time with or simply want to take the risk.

chico berkeley Jan 06, 2021 10:23 AM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Conversation with my Doc yesterday really brought to light that the bed problem is with how much staff is required per patient.
Always more beds than staff.
Seems the nurses union just like teachers union are more interested in themselves than solving this problem.
How you say?
As always the money controls everything that goes on in institutions like teachers,cops healthcare etc.
Step up with more money for those jobs and you will solve SOME of the problems. Maybe all the over educated at UCSB could step up since their opinion and science is paramount here.

Voice of Reason Jan 06, 2021 02:38 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

100% Chico. It isn't so much they shouldn't be allowed to unionize, it's just the union shouldn't be allowed to get into politics, lobby, or donate to campaigns. As we've seen this year in CA, when government employee unions become so powerful they can control who gets elected, and the people who get elected determine how the money flows back to the various governmental agencies, problems arise (i.e. kids not being in school, SB city employees getting a raise mid-pandemic, continuation of unsustainable pension plans, and the every growing employee count regardless of services provided).

Sail380 Jan 06, 2021 02:32 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Finally I'm with you!!! We can also quit rescuing people in the hill's that get lost or hurt!! No more sea rescues if the boats not seaworthy !! No more police or fire department response if your not current on property taxes. Why respond to a traffic accident if there's no insurance, unlicensed driver or the vehicles not currently registered? Will you please volunteer to be the one who decides who's stupid and doesn't deserve help?

chico berkeley Jan 06, 2021 01:57 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

I am PRO labor union but,am anti union for teachers,cops prisons, really any Government employees of any kind because it breeds mediocrity witch results in a waste of the peoples taxes.
Sorry that there is no representation for RN's here.
My sister in law just retired from the union that is affiliated with nursing after 35 years in Visalia.
Nurse staffing per patient is the same union or not, it controls things like nurses per patient in ICU.CCU,etc union or not.

PitMix Jan 06, 2021 01:50 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Yes, it must be the nurses fault. They aren't working enough- 6 days a week, 12 hr shifts isn't enough. If I was them I would just work my regular schedule and let the unmasked people figure out how to provide enough care for themselves. Why kill yourself to save uninformed people?

RHS Jan 06, 2021 12:46 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Had we a nurses union this sort of stuff could have been ameliorated. Employee unions know when the bosses are over demanding and cutting corners and an effective voice on their behalf might have resulted in more of a cushion when demand hits this hard. I do not understand, btw, why this anger against working people? Anger about exploitation and greed should be directed at the fund managers who now push the profit angle at institutions that should be there for the public good, not private wealth.

bosco Jan 06, 2021 11:50 AM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Chico. There is no Nurses Union in Santa Barbara. The Nurses are working their asses off right now. The hospital is upping Nurse-Patient Rations beyond what is normally allowed. They can't get help because there is no help available. Also, they're making double pay thanks the CAERS act. Maybe you need a longer conversation with your doc to get all the information. Now, regarding the teachers union... I agree.

sblocal1967 Jan 06, 2021 10:04 AM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

What is causing fear and anxiety is lack of transparency on specifics related to who is getting CV and how they are getting it. Why? Political correctness and the government wanting people to feel oppressed. I can only speak for SB County - when I go out there is 99% mask wearing - even people driving solo in cars or jogging/biking with no one near them. It boggles my mind how people are still getting it. There is no way to come into contact with a stranger - if you tried you would be shooed away. For people working outside like gardeners, construction workers, garbage collectors, etc... they are doing things that would suggest risk of getting it.

So people are getting it at home - then where did they bring it in from. Are younger people going to LA to gatherings and then bringing it into their homes? Does the at risk person at home care who is coming in and out of their home.

My take is that CV is being propagated by a small subset of our population whose culture/social morays are more important than public health. As a society we can not call any specific group out unlike other countries where you are expected to follow rules.

a-1609956594 Jan 06, 2021 10:09 AM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Have you read any of the latests articles or watched any press conferences or looked at any CDC or local public health data or watched any reliable news program? People are not following the guidance. They are traveling, visiting family, and gathering and not wearing their mask. I assume they went to families homes for holidays, hugged, kissed, ate, drank, coughed, etc. Then they're going to their offices and workplaces and spreading it where outbreaks are occurring. The biggest one is our Sheriff's Office. I heard two middle aged men at the grocery store talking about a large BBQ they're throwing for a friends birthday.

a-1609986879 Jan 06, 2021 06:34 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Bosco, I agree the risk is lower outside than in, and I agree that masks make outdoor running difficult. I too do not mask up when I am outside exercising, but that's because I have turned my circadian schedule around to avoid people--I run late at night when streets are empty. Even though you are less likely to get enough viral load to get sick by just passing someone outside, there is still a small possibility, according to my doctor ( a hero, I think, as he treats a lot of COVID patients.) Of course the risk increases as the other person's breathing and spewing increases and/or their distance from you decreases. Since we now know the virus aeorosolizes and can hang in the air outside for a time, it is clear there is some risk being outside as well as inside, even when no one is by you. I then wondered if that is true, why we are not also in danger inside our homes if an open window allows virus to flow in--but my doctor had no answer to that one. No one probably knows the answer to this yet. And, as scientists and doctors seem to mostly agree, masks are not 100 percent protection, especially the masks available to the public. So really the only way to increase safety to the highest level is to be one of the lucky few who own homes with lots of acreage around them and get supplies delivered or curbside.

bosco Jan 06, 2021 12:05 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Thanks for the clarification. Now, I don't want to start another mask debate, but if they're outside it's not a big deal. There is enough data out there that there is no transmission risk passing by someone outside (ask healthcare professionals if you don't believe me). Don't let that fear guide you. The situation we are in has everything to do with indoor gatherings (mostly family). I'm over people giving me judgmental looks when I'm out for a run or on a hike. Sorry people not going to wear a mask if I'm outside and not in a crowd.

SBTownie Jan 06, 2021 12:34 PM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

Sorry to disappoint you, VOR, but you're wrong. A meta-analysis of 98 million people in the USA (via cell phone tracking data) carried out by Stanford University researches, PROVES that restaurants are big locations for transmission. "Stanford computer scientist Jure Leskovec, the senior author of the report, tells the Times that 'restaurants were by far the riskiest places' for new infections, 'about four times riskier than gyms and coffee shops, followed by hotels,' he says." Google it if you don't believe me. I'll believe the data of 98 million and Stanford researchers over the NYC department of health's shoddy and incomplete data.

Voice of Reason Jan 06, 2021 10:51 AM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

I'm sorry Townie, but stats out of New York show restaurants and bars, with indoor operations, were only responsible for 1.4% of the spread. Your comment they are well known sources of spread are contradictory to the facts. Your anecdotal experience from a cold several years ago is just that, anecdotal.

Voice of Reason Jan 06, 2021 10:44 AM
County ICU Availability Falls to 0% with Highest COVID-19 Numbers in Single Day

I'm sorry Townie, but stats out of New York show restaurants and bars, with indoor operations, were only responsible for 1.4% of the spread. Your comment they are well known sources of spread are contradictory to the facts. Your anecdotal experience from a cold several years ago is just that, anecdotal.

Pages

Please Login or Register to comment on this.