COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) reports an additional 54 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county during a press conference today. 

Of the new cases, 40 are at the Federal Prison Complex in Lompoc. The total number of confirmed cases is 1,362 of which 474 have fully recovered. There are 477 people recovering out of the hospital, 37 are recovering in a hospital, 10 of whom are in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and 363 are pending an update. Eleven deaths have been reported. Visit for more information on each case.

PHD Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg continued to remind residents to practice social distancing after stating he witnessed numerous house parties near a local beach this past weekend.

He confirmed the hospitalization and ICU rates remain stable, however, there are still more positive COVID-19 test results in the community than desired. 

The Lompoc Prison Dilemma

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart began the press conference by stating the county is continuing their efforts to work authorities at the Lompoc prison to learn more about what is going on and to offer assistance.

This comes after his statement on Friday that county officials are "constantly rebuffed" by prison authorities and that Santa Barbara County will not meet Governor Gavin Newsom's requirements to reopen due to the growing outbreak at the prison.

Hart stated the county would like more transparency and a more collaborative relationship and is disappointed the Bureau of Prisons has chosen not to directly communicate to protect the public's health.

Santa Barbara County has offered free COVID-19 testing in Lompoc for prison staff members, however, only 60 guards have chosen to take advantage of the testing out of approximately 450, said Hart.

The issue remains whether the number of positive cases at the prison will affect Santa Barbara County's efforts to effectively reopen. 

The California Department of Health's response was "not encouraging," said Hart. Local legislators are in touch with authorities and the Governor, and officials hope to demonstrate the progress the county has made thus far.

A Board of Supervisors meeting will take place at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday where the supervisors will consider sending a letter to the Governor stating the Lompoc prison outbreak is out of the county's control. 

Hart encouraged community members to express their support of the letter by calling into the meeting, as well as communicating directly with the Governor. 

Community Testing Continues

Last week all three community testing sites were open in Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Santa Barbara.

Dr. Ansorg confirmed over 1,200 community members were tested. However, there has been a delay in receiving the results of the tests.

Out of several hundred results so far, there were only two positive tests, he said.

Community members are encouraged to schedule an appointment to get tested. Click here for more information about making an appointment.

Can I See A Dentist?

During the press conference, Dr. Ansorg cleared up questions about whether it's ok to see a dentist for teeth cleaning during this time.

The state loosened guidelines for dentists to open in a wider capacity than just emergency care to include preventative care. However, they must have a sufficient supply of their own personal protective equipment (PPE) and conduct proper hygiene and sanitation. 

Cottage Health Numbers

Below is a status update as of May 11, 2020.  

·         Cottage Health is caring for a total of 211 patients across all campuses.

·         165 are acute care patients; 208 acute care beds remain available.  

·         In surge planning, capacity is identified for adding 270 acute care beds.

·         Of the 165 acute care patients, 12 patients are on ventilators. 63 ventilators remain available (adult, pediatric and neonatal ventilators).

·         Of the 165 acute care patients, 11 are in isolation with COVID-19 symptoms; 5 are confirmed COVID-19 positive.

·         Of 11 patients in isolation, 4 patients are in critical care.

·         Cottage has collected 5,665 cumulative test samples: 242 resulted in positive, 5,371 resulted in negative, and 52 are pending results. 

SLO and Ventura Counties

As of Monday, Ventura County reports 12 new cases for a total of 678. Of the total, 458 have fully recovered, 28 are hospitalized with 11 in the ICU, and there have been 19 deaths.

In San Luis Obispo County, there are 226 total cases. Of those, 172 have recovered, 49 are recovering at home, 4 are hospitalized with 2 in the ICU, and there has been 1 death.

Last week, the state denied SLO's attestation to demonstrate the readiness to loosen restrictions and reopen businesses based on the public health criteria from the state. The county remains under the Governor's stay at home orders.

“SLO County has done everything right. We have sheltered, we have planned, we have prepared. We are now advocating and attesting to the State that SLO County is ready to move forward with reopening safely, responsibly,” says Dr. Borenstein, SLO County Public Health Officer.


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bigone May 12, 2020 02:15 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

End this nonsense. Cases will keep going up as long as we keep testing, so why worry about the statistics? Deaths are going way down and will continue to do so regardless of isolation and everything else we have been forced to do. Open our businesses, ditch the mostly worthless masks, buy American, and let's get back to normal life. The alternative is to continue to live in fear and act like sheep. If you want to keep waiting for there to be no new cases, you will be waiting forever. If this virus even goes away, a new one will take its place. The world is a communicable place - get used to it.

bigone May 12, 2020 08:38 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

Look up Medical Xpress on your search engine. It is a daily medical briefing: "Medical Xpress is a web-based medical and health news service that features the most comprehensive coverage in the fields of neuroscience, cardiology, ....."

bigone May 12, 2020 04:26 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

SACJON, this is were evidence comes from, and it has been known for a long time, dating back to the Spanish Flu. It is called Passive Immunization and utilizes blood plasma from people who have recovered, and that's a heck of a lot of the world's population right now, and continues to increase. From the Medical Press today, May 12: "After exposure to a viral infection, an individual's body creates antibodies to fight off the virus. If you are looking for COVID-19 treatment, you will find it in the blood of survivors". But stay home and be afraid, SACJON and others who are terrified. Be very afraid. Because if you walk out that door and you actually get the virus, show no symptoms, survive....... you might and could help others.

a-1589321157 May 12, 2020 03:05 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

Chip - and you conservatives call us liberals "Chicken Little," and "Snowflakes," hahahaha my lord! It must be absolutely terrifying for you each and every day! Go get some beer, turn off the Hannity and listen to some music. Relax. The world's not ending yet.

sacjon May 12, 2020 02:41 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

BIGONE - where did you ever get the notion that deaths will decrease "regardless of isolation and everything else we have been forced to do?" Do you honestly believe that if we all run outside and start carrying on as normal, the deaths will decrease? If more people get the virus, which they will if we stop social distancing, etc, then more people will die. It's simple logic. What evidence do you have that supports your claim that less people will die if we open everything back up? I'm honestly curious.

Chip of SB May 12, 2020 02:30 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

It's the new normal and it will never end. It is unlikely that a vaccine can be developed. The virus will not go away until herd immunity is achieved, and that will take years at the rate we are going. Perhaps we could start systematically destroying all records of life before the virus so future generations won't know how the world used to be. That will smooth the transition to an increasingly authoritarian society as the economy collapses. The future will become a combination of A Boy and His Dog, THX1138, Logan's Run, and the Handmaid's Tale.

a-1589305335 May 12, 2020 10:42 AM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

The LA Times is reporting today that the prisoners there are deliberately trying to get Covid infections in order to pressure the mayor and city council to release more prisoners. It sounds like the same thing is happening in the Lompoc facilities.

PitMix May 12, 2020 01:55 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

Also in that edition was a story of two men arrested for felony assault after they hurt a Target store employee that asked them to wear masks but then were released so that they didn't have to go to jail. What a system!

Ahchooo May 12, 2020 02:53 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

Requiring masks or face coverings in public spaces is no more unfair than requiring shoes. If you have a few dollars, you can buy a wide variety of face coverings/masks on Etsy, or check out the local makers that were featured on Edhat recently. If you have no money, tear up an old t-shirt and make your own (look for easy tutorials online). Some masks are better than others, for sure, but if everybody wears *some* sort of face covering, there will be less virus being spewed into the air.

giftedinSB May 12, 2020 10:22 AM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

I think that is a pretty unfair demand. Masks are in short supply and essential workers should be given priority. Not to mention that the short supply makes obtaining a mask rather difficult for a lot of us because they simply aren't available. I would argue that bandanas are even safer than masks, with the exception of N95s. You can wrap a bandana around your face multiple times - have you seen how thin surgical masks are?

a-1589295007 May 12, 2020 07:50 AM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

Just you wait and see when the political ads come out in the future. Pols will claim that they "took the lead in the fight against the corona virus." Any pol who makes the corona virus a point in their campaign will not get my vote. I don't understand with all of their helping the homeless, creating jobs, bringing in business, and fighting global climate change, that they are not. In their world of twisted logic, Well, they brought us weed at least.

a-1589294498 May 12, 2020 07:41 AM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

Re the prison. Many of the staff do not live in Lompoc. They live in SM, SLO county, who knows where. Staff should be tested daily and then if infected, housed out at the prison or on VAFB. Even it they are not infected, they should be housed out there, not released into the communities. We have two large federal institutions adjacent to one another. We have an underutilized 4 story clinic on VAFB. They have all kinds of temp. housing right on base. The two institutions should be communicating with each other. Ah, the failure on the federal level is astounding.

GeneralTree May 12, 2020 11:57 AM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

LCP Yeah, just what I thought - everyone can't get a test.
All are eligible to screened, however, individuals who meet the following conditions will be prioritized:

Healthcare Workers and First Responders
Persons 65 years and older or any age with chronic medical conditions
Residents or employees of congregate care living facilities
Persons in essential occupations which include utilities, grocery, food supply, and public employees
Any persons exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19

ChemicalSuperFreak May 11, 2020 11:45 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

The testing rates reported by the County have been appalling. For the month of April the County reported an average of 189 tests/day, all the while the North County was smoldering. Now that Lompoc FCI is completely out of control and Santa Maria adding to the numbers on a regular basis, the County finally began reporting a larger number of tests while the State transitioned to Phase 2. The average since Friday as been 776 test/day. Lompoc FCI is a very recent, though not surprising, development. However, there has been a persistent need for serious testing in the North County for some time and Hart has no one to blame for that outside of County Leadership.

a-1589255523 May 11, 2020 08:52 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

As serious as the Lompoc Prison outbreak is, Gregg Hart and the County are making far too much of this, looking to blame the state and feds- as if the county would magically be "back in business" if not for the prison. well that is simply false; there are other metrics apart from the Prison that would preclude the County from being able to "open" much further. Dr Ansorg said as much at the press conference today. Come on county- focus on what you have control over and save the whining for another time

a-1589254579 May 11, 2020 08:36 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

LA is a Hot Spot. The City wants to open up to tourists ASAP. We will simply import the coronavirus by opening. And the City isn't actively monitoring neighborhoods to shut down house parties or businesses that should not be operating. It also isn't ensuring that people socially distance at the beach or parks. The City Administration and City Council is setting us up to become infected as people become lax and the Governor starts to open counties. We MUST continue to Shelter In Place and keep businesses closed. Tell the City Council: [email protected]

ChemicalSuperFreak May 11, 2020 10:19 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

I don't think you need to worry about the cops. They seem nowhere to be found these days. Look at all the recent crashes, at insanely high rates of speed and often involving alcohol. People are driving like that because they're being allowed to get away with it. Virtually no police presence. My NextDoor feed has daily posts about car break-ins and vandalism in several Goleta neighborhoods. Windows are being smashed, tires slashed, etc. on a nightly basis with no end in sight. So I wouldn't worry too much about cops shutting down house parties or coming on to your private property, because the cops are on vacation.

a-1589256036 May 11, 2020 09:00 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

@8:36 You seriously want the cops to shut down house parties? As if they have nothing better to do with their time. Even worse , you think the police should have the right to tell me who can come on my private property?! It sounds like you definitely shouldn’t leave your house until 2021.

a-1589249353 May 11, 2020 07:09 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

Should we open up and bring in the tourists? Open in-store retail shopping to people from Los Angeles? 591 new cases there today and another 39 deaths. The virus is not contained in this country - it's not even contained in the West Wing of the White House.

Crystalandmaui May 12, 2020 08:20 AM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

I did get a antibody test, because I too was sick in February. Well it was negative, I did not have it.
February was not a great spike in the virus unless you traveled.
Get tested find out. I hear so many people say this, so now I say well the test is available now. Then I hear oh no , why should I get tested? Cause your so sure you had it, so find out.
people want to think they had it and then I guess feel like they are immuned to it. I still see people don’t don’t know what side of the fence they want to be on.

a-1589250642 May 11, 2020 07:30 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

We need to open with mask requirements, slowly. There is a middle ground, it is NOT all or nothing. Will we see an increase in our numbers? 100% but some will be purely due to availability of testing. I'm certain that I had covid in February and so did MANY others that I know. Are we protected from getting it again? Probably not but the vast majority of afflicted do recover. Science needs to come into play right now, not fear or blather from the net but medical science. We have to increase exposure to create immunity. Those at higher risk will need to take extra precautions for quite a while.

a-1589250480 May 11, 2020 07:28 PM
COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue

It's not magical, it's realistic. I am PRO erring on the side of caution and do think that it is time to start lifting some of the restrictions. We have to move forward to get through, it's fact not fantasy.

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