COVID-19 Cases Decrease But Health Officials Remain Cautious
By edhat staff
Public Health officials acknowledge a downward trend in COVID-19 case rates within the county but urge caution as Halloween approaches and hot spots pop up throughout the U.S.
Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart referenced a quote by Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. David Fisk at Cottage Hospital that the like drop in COVID-19 cases within the county is temporary and numbers will increase in the coming months.
The likely second-wave of the virus is working its way around the globe as scientists are seeing concerning trends in hot spots where hospitals are at or over capacity said Hart warning this should give us pause.
Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg made a plea for residents to make other plans for the upcoming holidays and not to travel or gather. He called it a "nightmare scenario" if community members travel to COVID-19 hot spots throughout the country and state, contract the virus, and come back to spread it within the local community.
COVID-19 can easily spread from person to person and can remain in the air and travel farther than six-feet while still being contagious. More than 90% of Santa Barbara County is still susceptible to catching the disease, said Dr. Ansorg.
He further went on to state the vast majority of new infections are caused by people feeling well and spreading the virus unknowingly. Approximately 8% of these contagious individuals function as superspreaders and cause about 60% of all new infections.
At this point in the pandemic, the only way to protect ourselves is by keeping a distance, avoid gatherings, avoid travel, wear a mask and wash hands frequently, said Dr. Ansorg.
On a positive note, Supervisor Hart stated the state-sponsored "Project Roomkey" effort to safely house those who are homeless has been a success in the local area. So far there have been 34 people who have transitioned into permanent housing from this project, six of those happened this week alone.
PHD reported 23 new cases bringing the grand total to 9,560 COVID-19 cases. Of those, 112 are currently active with 19 in the hospital including six in the intensive care unit (ICU).
There were three deaths since last Friday's report. Two individuals were 70+ years of age, from the City of Santa Maria, had underlying medical conditions, and were associated with a congregate facility outbreak. One individual was between the ages of 50-69 with underlying medical conditions and resided in the City of Santa Maria. The death was not associated with a congregate facility outbreak.
The county's overall death toll is 119.
More data can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/status-reports/