COVID-19 Cases Increase as Lompoc Prison Remains an Issue
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 publichealthsbc.org 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.