COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health title=
Public Health Department Director Van Do-Reynoso speaking during a previous press conference
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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) confirms COVID-19 cases are trending downward in the county, but the county is still ranked 11th in the state for high cases.

In the last two weeks, the daily count of active cases decreased by 50% from 2,568 to 1,288 with a peak on January 13th at 3,256 cases. From January 14-28, most areas of the county show a decrease in cases, except for a 16% increase in Isla Vista, stated PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

Hospitalizations decreased from 208 to 170 in the past two weeks, however, deaths increased by 29% with 67 deaths reported within this period. Intensive care unit (ICU) availability has increased from 7% to 17.1% as of Monday.

Dr. Do-Reynoso addressed the downward trend in almost all COVID-19 metrics, but stated the county levels are still at an "unacceptably high level" and the county is still "besieged by COVID-19." While there is more ICU availability, it's still low and of concern, she said. 

Santa Barbara County is currently ranked 11th out of the state's 58 counties for the number of new cases per 100,000 population. Yesterday the county was ranked 9th in a tie with Merced and much larger counties such as Orange, San Diego, and San Joaquin fall far behind Santa Barbara.

Tuesday's Numbers

The county's COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 on Tuesday is 63.8 but was adjusted downward to 47.2 by the state due to the county's increased testing measures. The testing positivity rate is 11.2 and the health equity metric is 16.7. 

"We are solidly in the purple tier," said Dr. Do-Reynoso while urging residents to double down on diligence to decrease cases.

The county will need to achieve 25 cases per 100,000 to open schools. Less than 7 cases per 100,000, less than 8% testing positivity, and less than 8% health equity will be needed for the county to be eligible for the less restrictive red tier. 

With Superbowl Sunday occuring this weekend, Dr. Do-Reynoso urged residents to limit gatherings as the county is still recovering from the virus spread caused by winter holiday gatherings.

On Tuesday, PHD reported 181 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths.  All five individuals were over 70 years of age and four had underlying health conditions. Two of the deaths were associated with outbreaks at congregate facilities. Two individuals resided in Lompoc, two were from Santa Maria, and one lived in the North County Unincorporated Area.

The death toll has now reached 303.

There are currently 1,254 active cases within the community. Of those, 161 are hospitalized including 48 in the ICU. The county's ICU availability is at 14.5%.

School Reopenings

PHD is working with six local elementary school districts on their reopening applications for when the time comes. Lompoc, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Vista del Mar, and Orcutt unified school districts have all been in contact with public health, said Dr. Do-Reynoso.

Districts need a COVID-19 Safety Plan submitted to PHD and a COVID-19 Prevention Plan submitted to the California Division Of Occupational Safety & Health (Cal/OSHA).

PHD is assisting all school districts to have a safety plan in place and ready to go when the county's COVID-19 case rate is below 25 per 100,000 population, the benchmark needed to reopen schools in the purple tier. 

There are no guidelines available for high schools at this time. 

Vaccine Distribution Update

Santa Barbara County was alloted a total of 51,375 vaccines with Marian Regional Medical Center receiving approximately 8,500 additional doses from the state as it serves both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County residents. An additional supply of 6,550 doses are expected to deliver on Tuesday.

These were distributed throughout the county to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and health care providers. There have been 38,334 doses, approximately 86%, of the vaccine administered to qualifying residents. 

Additional data is available at https://publichealthsbc.org.

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RHS Feb 03, 2021 08:51 AM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

We could do what the Florida Governor did, give exclusive pharmacy contract to Publix who just happens to be a grocery chain that donated big to his reelection campaign. No matter that Publix does not even have pharmacies in many areas and has almost no presence in minority/poor neighborhoods. Maybe we should give the serum solely to Whole Foods and see how that works out.

dukemunson Feb 04, 2021 05:22 AM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Sac - I actually have to agree with VOR here. I just got back from a work trip to Florida, and if Florida is even remotely statistically close to California then they are doing much better than California! Schools stayed open, restaurants stayed open, nearly everything stayed open... and everything that did close, opened up pretty quick (theme parks, bars, Indoor dining, etc). Kids sports are going strong. Factor in Florida’s older population and the fact that they’ve administered more per capita vaccines than California and I’d say Florida is doing much MUCH better than us.

gcheadley Feb 03, 2021 06:31 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Florida Republican Cancel Culture is doing a much better job of firing and raiding the homes of data scientists who report the true infection rates so they can look better than they really are. I mean, what are they scared of?

Voice of Reason Feb 03, 2021 10:50 AM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Sac, you've shown time and time again you don't know what per captia means. As I've explained before, putting the initial outbreak aside (March-May) FL has done better on a per capita basis. Remember they also have a much much older population than us. Over the past 6 months they have done significantly better than our metrics, per capita, all WITHIOUT closing schools and destroying small businesses. Even if CA's were marginally better it came at a steep price paid for not only economically but with real life health and wellness consequences that aren't reflected in the cases or deaths/100K and will be with us long after covid has passed.

sacjon Feb 03, 2021 10:41 AM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

VOR - How do you figure FL is doing that much better than CA? Florida's population is almost HALF (21m in FL, 39m in CA) of California's, yet the overall numbers are pretty close, if not the same proportionally. FL overall cases - 1.7 million, CA is 3.3 million. So, just looking at that, based on overall population, FL is doing just as bad/good as CA. What are you looking at to posit that FL is doing so much better compared to CA?

Ahchooo Feb 02, 2021 06:10 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

With a contagious disease, the more people who get vaccinated, the more we all benefit. I assume the age restrictions will apply regardless of citizenship status. Hope so. It is also to our benefit as a country to help vaccinate the populations of poor countries. The more people who get sick, the more the virus continues to mutate, and the mutant strains will get to us sooner or later.

ChemicalSuperFreak Feb 02, 2021 09:03 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

LIE!

"To serve that need, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is vaccinating staff and some residents from those facilities at its own community vaccine clinics, and it plans to establish a mobile unit to bring vaccines directly to facilities...At least two skilled-nursing facilities were vaccinated by local hospitals and the Public Health Department instead of the federal pharmacy program."

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/covid_vaccinations_slow_start_skilled_nursing_assisted_living_santa_barbara

ChemicalSuperFreak Feb 02, 2021 08:00 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

I don't care if it's only 40 doses. We lost 42 people from our local congregate living facilities since January 9th alone, well after the start of the vaccine rollout. I have no problem giving people in US custody the vaccine at some point, it's just that they should not be getting it before our most vulnerable, who continue to die on nearly a daily basis.

sacjon Feb 03, 2021 07:59 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

VOR - Yeah, so what? He's opened an overflow facility to make more room so they're not crammed in existing ones. He literally just this morning re-instated "Catch and Release," meaning NO MORE separations and deportations of parents. Of course they still need facilities for those they house temporarily, but unlike you say below, he is NOT putting kids in cages the way Trump did. That's like saying Democrat efforts to improve housing in prisons means they'll be arrested more people. Gads, is as if you don't understand English words.

Voice of Reason Feb 03, 2021 07:32 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Here you go Sac. Same things happened during Obama , happened during Trump, and is now happening under Biden. I guess it’s only bad when orange man bad does it. https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics/migrant-children-facility-immigration/index.html

sacjon Feb 03, 2021 06:52 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

VOR - Any luck with that "proof" of Biden planning to put kids in cages? Here's some news from today saying, again, that you're 100%, certifiably WRONG: https://www.kxan.com/news/catch-and-release-resumes-in-south-texas-mayor-says-biden-order-reinstates-policy/

ChemicalSuperFreak Feb 03, 2021 02:24 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

PITMIX, you apparently commented without reading the entire thread, where yesterday I wrote: "I have no problem giving people in US custody the vaccine at some point, it's just that they should not be getting it before our most vulnerable, who continue to die on nearly a daily basis."

bosco Feb 03, 2021 10:26 AM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Illegals spread virus too and require hospitalization. It doesn't matter who gets the vaccine first, just get it out to as many people as fast as possible. Israel just vaccinated 55% of it's population (mostly thanks to a centralized healthcare system) and are starting to see the results.

Voice of Reason Feb 03, 2021 10:17 AM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

The Biden admin also reopened the overflow facility for migrant children, you know the ones that put kids in cages (and originally built during Obama admin). I guess kids in cages goes back to being okay now that we have a "good guy" in office.

PitMix Feb 03, 2021 07:03 AM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

CSF, if you are going to hold people illegally as enemy combatants without declaring an actual war, then you have some responsibility to ensure their health while you have them in detention. And if you are going to torture them as a matter of state policy, making it impossible to actually try them in a court of law, then you have lost your moral compass. Repubs are such wimps, afraid to bring those big bad bogeymen back to the states to hold them in detention in our supermax prisons. This is why we don't vote for Repubs in CA.

ChemicalSuperFreak Feb 02, 2021 09:22 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Chillin, First, I'm not a Republican/conservative. Nice try though.

Second, did you read the full Politco article or just stop after the headline? For those interested in the truth, the Trump administration initiated the rollout of the vaccine for GITMO, specifically for "health care workers and their support staff, followed by those with critical national security jobs, and then the workforce over 65 years of age or with prior medical conditions." (1)

The article continues by noting, "Due to its unique population, Guantanamo Bay moved through the phases of the rollout “at a faster clip than others,” Kirby told reporters Tuesday...Last Wednesday, Terry Adirim, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, officially approved the facility to move to the third phase of vaccinations — the category the detainees fall into, Kirby told POLITICO." (1)

So Terry Adirim made the decision. Was Adirim part of the Trump administration? NOPE! Adirim is part of the Biden's new administration and was just sworn into his deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs on January 20, 2021. (2)

(1) https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/02/pentagon-trump-guantanamo-vaccinations-465342

(2) https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/2477672/new-officials-sworn-in-at-the-department-of-defense/

ChillinGrillin Feb 02, 2021 09:02 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

CHemicalSuperfreak: The Pentagon clarified today that the decision to vaccinate Al Qaeda and Taliban members in Gitmo before US citizens was made as part of the initial Trump vaccine rollout plan. I guess it's all good to save terrorists if Commander Cheeto does it? The plan was probably drawn in crayon on an Olive Garden kids menu and left crumpled in the Resolute desk.

a-1612317216 Feb 02, 2021 05:53 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Additionally they will not arrest illegal immigrants at any vaccination sites and will provide equal access for all. The DHS statement is here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/02/01/dhs-statement-equal-access-covid-19-vaccines-and-vaccine-distribution-sites

SBsurferlife Feb 02, 2021 05:50 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

@Shame, you are incorrect. The Biden administration said illegal immigrants and ANYONE residing in the US should be able to get the vaccine, not that they will have a priority. Nowhere did they say there would be special sites. Please stop with the false statements.

ChemicalSuperFreak Feb 02, 2021 05:22 PM
COVID-19 Cases Trend Down But Still Too High Says Public Health

Could be worse. They were almost about to give priority vaccinations to terrorists in GITMO, ahead of our most vulnerable citizens. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/01/30/vaccine-plan-for-gitmo-paused-after-outrage-from-republicans/)

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