COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More title=
Local Officials During Friday's COVID-19 Press Conference
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By edhat staff

California has switched its COVID-19 monitoring system and is allowing hair salons, barbershops, and retail stores to reopen indoors with restrictions.

During a press conference on Friday, local officials discussed their efforts to quickly adapt to these new changes.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) Director Van Do-Reynoso stated the county is launching a Housing for Harvest program on Monday. It's aimed at providing temporary hotel housing for food processing and farmworkers who either test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed, do not require hospitalization and are unable to isolate at home. 

Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg also stated that with the announcement of the school waiver program last week, 13 elementary schools have submitted applications throughout the county. Of the 13 schools, 12 are private schools and one is a school district. PHD is actively reviewing the applications which will then be forwarded to the state for approval or denial. 

Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Hilda Maldonado said her district is waiting until they receive 70% of participation in a recent survey with parents and families' input before moving forward.

Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) introduced the State’s new Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a color-coded, tiered framework for reducing COVID-19 and adjusting permitted sector activities to keep Californians healthy and safe. This replaces the state's data monitoring list.

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy includes four tiers designed to loosen and tighten restrictions on activities and business operations. Each tier indicates a particular risk level:

  • Purple (widespread) - Many non-essential indoor business operations are closed
  • Red (substantial) - Some non-essential indoor business operations are closed
  • Orange (moderate) - Some indoor business operations are open with modifications
  • Yellow (minimal) - Most indoor business operations are open with modifications

 

This framework lays out the measures that each county must meet, based on indicators that capture disease burden, testing, and health equity. A county may be more restrictive than this framework. Movement across the tiers are based on COVID-19 metrics such as new cases and positive test rates.

Santa Barbara County currently falls under the purple “Widespread” risk level. To move down to the red-colored "substantial" risk level, the county would need to achieve between 4 - 7 daily new cases per 100,000 and a 5-8% testing positivity rate.

Currently, the county is achieving a 9 daily new case rate and 6.5% testing positivity. The daily case rate must drop to 7 and the testing positivity rate cannot increase past 8% for a period of two consecutive weeks before the county would be able to move down to the next level and reopen more businesses. 

Throughout the states 58 counties, only 8 are in the red tier, 8 in the orange tier, and 3 in the yellow tier. The rest are in the widespread purple tier.

Hair Salons, Barbershops, and Retail Allowed to Reopen Indoors

Governor Newsom also released new industry guidance for hair salons and barbershops to reopen indoors. 

Employees and customers are required to wear face coverings at all times, businesses must establish a written workplace-specific COVID-19 prevention plan and train all employees on the plan, investigate any COVID-19 illness and any close contacts with that person, and provide temperature and/or symptom screenings for customers and employees.

Employees are also required to wear disposable gloves and face shields, clean all surfaces and tools regularly, and remove any self-serve amenities such as beverages and magazines.

The new guidance also allows all retail and shopping centers to reopen at a maximum of 25% capacity.

PHD is expected to release a new health officer order within the coming days so these businesses can reopen early next week.

State-Run Testing Site Moves from Earl Warren Showgrounds to Goleta Valley Community Center

The State-operated testing site currently located at the Earl Warren Showgrounds is moving to the Goleta Valley Community Center. The last day of testing services at Earl Warren Showgrounds will be August 31, 2020.

Testing services will begin on September 3, 2020 at the Goleta Valley Community Center. Testing appointments can now be made for the Goleta site online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

“We are very pleased with this move to the Goleta Valley Community Center. This location offers residents of Goleta and Isla Vista expanded testing opportunity by proximity to, and ease of access by public transportation,” said Do-Reynoso, Santa Barbara County Public Health Director.

The testing being conducted is intended to identify if an individual currently has the COVID-19 virus. When considering getting a test, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) recommends asking yourself the following questions. If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you should get tested.

  • Do you work in a high-risk environment for the transmission of COVID-19?
  • Are you an essential worker?
  • Do you live or work in a congregate setting?
  • Have you had close contact with an individual who has been recently confirmed as having COVID-19?
    • Close contact is about 15 minutes, in a closed room less than six feet apart.
  • Have you been experiencing any symptoms of illness, different than seasonal allergies?
    • Cough, runny nose, fatigue, headaches, sore throat, loss of taste, nausea, etc.
  • Has a Public Health Department employee told you to get tested?

 

If you cannot answer yes to any of these questions, you are at a lower risk for contracting COVID-19 and are not advised to be tested at this time.

The Goleta Valley Community Center is located at 5679 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117. Testing is by appointment only. For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.publichealthsbc.org.

Do-Reynoso added the testing site in Buellton still has a capacity of over 100 slots per day. 

Beaches & Waterfront Parking Restrictions for Labor Day Weekend

PHD clarified all county beaches will not be closed, just restricted over the Labor Day weekend. 

All beaches will be temporarily closed for stationary activities. Only immediate access to and from the ocean for water sports or beach access for active physical activity will be permitted. A Health Officer Order has been issued effective Friday, September 4 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing until Monday, September 7 at 11:59 p.m.

In addition, all Waterfront parking lots, except for Harbor Main, Launch Ramp, and Stearns Wharf, will be closed from Friday, September 4 at 2 a.m. through Tuesday, September 8 at 6 a.m.

Disease transmission rates have been consistently improving in the last few weeks yet this metric still remains above the threshold outlined by the California Department of Public Health for being removed from the County Monitoring List. 

The following restrictions apply for the duration of the Health Officer Order:

  • Sitting, lying, standing, sunbathing, sight-seeing, picnicking, and all other non-exercise, passive, or sedentary activities on beach parkways are prohibited.

  • Items for sitting or lying on the beach are prohibited for use of possession on beaches, such as umbrellas, shade structures, tents, barbecue grills, sand or beach toys, coolers and beach chairs.

Full details regarding these restrictions can be found in the Health Officer Order

"Reduced disease transmission is critical in the fight against COVID-19. We anticipate a high volume of visitors at our beaches during the Labor Day weekend, which will impede the practice of safe and necessary social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County," said Dr. Henning Ansorg. "Our community has remained diligent in their efforts and now is the time to protect all the positive outcomes we have accomplished."

Friday's COVID-19 Numbers

PHD announced 67 new COVID-19 cases and one death during Friday's press conference.

The resident was over 70 years of age with underlying health conditions and lived in a congregate-care facility in Santa Maria.

The county's total is now 8,014. Of those, 246 are active within the community. There are currently 40 hospitalizations and 21 in the intensive care unit (ICU).

During Friday's press conference, Dr. Do-Reynoso stated that over 70% of positive COVID-19 cases across the county's three testing sites have been asymptomatic.

Visit https://publichealthsbc.org/status-reports/ for more data.

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17 Comments

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dukemunson Aug 28, 2020 08:07 PM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

Start filling out the paperwork for the waiver GOLETA school district!!!! Immediately!!! It’s literally your job! Don’t let the only open spots be private schools... that’s terrible! The boys and girls club is open for kids to safely do their school work... that’s YOUR JOB!!!! No reevaluating at December... start filling out the waiver application now!

dukemunson Aug 29, 2020 06:41 PM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

The school district has the money via the CARES act to, we’ll, ACT!!! The school district has abdicated their duty and given up! They should all immediately resign so no people can come in and actually do something! Private schools will open in September... Montecito schools will open in September... but not Goleta/sb. Let’s all donate to the Goleta boys and goes club though so kids have a safe pace to learn... our schools aren’t offering that anymore (though they all are still cashing their checks)...

vvorker Aug 29, 2020 07:17 AM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

I worked for the Goleta School district, good luck with getting that swamp drained..
Parents need to read John Taylor Gotto and his history and theory of school..
Gatto asserts the following regarding what school does to children in Dumbing Us Down:
His main thesis is:
It confuses the students. It presents an incoherent ensemble of information that the child needs to memorize to stay in school. Apart from the tests and trials, this programming is similar to the television; it fills almost all the "free" time of children. One sees and hears something, only to forget it again.
It teaches them to accept their class affiliation.
It makes them indifferent.
It makes them emotionally dependent.
It makes them intellectually dependent.
It teaches them a kind of self-confidence that requires constant confirmation by experts (provisional self-esteem).
It makes it clear to them that they cannot hide, because they are always supervise

I quit the job, after 2 years seeing how they treat the kids, should not be a monopoly with county tax payer money!

m-cubed Aug 29, 2020 07:46 AM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

wow this new 'reopening plan' by Newsom is brutal. four phases packed tightly together in tiny window. a difference of only eight new cases per day per 100k population determines whether a county is on almost complete lockdown or essentially wide open for business. that's like a single birthday party. and with the college kids coming back and kids going to school it's going to be tough. then the county as a whole has to stay below the threshhold for two whole weeks before advancing to the next less restrictive phase. then there are these seemingly arbitrary 'postivive test percentages' that act as the second factor for each phase. to qualify for the second most restrictive tier a county is allowed 4-7 new cases per day and a positive test rate of 5-8%. that's 50-80 positive tests if you test 1,000 people which regularly happens. pretty sure that's absurdly higher than the 4-7 'new cases per day' requirement. it just doesn't make sense to me. that said i hope this plan works. labor day weekend is going to be a big strain on our numbers.

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 29, 2020 09:06 AM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

246 Active Cases. Way, way down from the peak of 374 Active I believe.
Hospitalizations are in half as well.
More people have been recovering than getting sick for months now.
What we’ve seen is there’s no preventing the spread. Every time the govt does something to stop the spread, more cases pop up.
But guess what. Let’s look at the numbers after 2 hot weeks in May, Memorial Day, 4th of July & “Summer Vacation”, kids have been playing together since March because schools and camps are closed and parents need to work to provide food & shelter.
445,000 SB County residents
246 are currently sick (0.05%) of us
Total cases to date 8,014 (98% of us have not gotten Covid)
0.02% of SB population has died from Covid
90 deaths out of 8,014 Covid cases (1.12% mortality rate. 99% of Covid cases survive)
So for 1% of the population the other 99% are sitting at home hiding. Committing suicide, breathing in untested particles and bacteria through masks, kids educating have been “put on hold” , over 40% of SB tourism businesses have failed, countless unemployed, homeless running amuck receiving no help from the govt and no shelter.
For 1% the other 99%, the large majority suffer.
Open up, use proper practices. Employees wear masks, every patron be screened for temperature, hand sanitizers and wear a mask when you enter a business.
Open businesses, schools & beaches.
The high risk group, stay home, wear proper masks that actually protect yourself. You should be doing this every flu season anyway.
Stop the suffering for the masses.
Let’s vote on it!

a-1598720847 Aug 29, 2020 10:07 AM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

The "fan" is an instrument of the people we elect that make these decisions for us, in our state, county, city and schools. The "fan" does not exist outside the collective will of the people. Question why so many people still want to keep this "fan" and refuse to risk anything else.

Paldrich Aug 29, 2020 10:17 AM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

Does anyone know how the "9 daily new case rate" was determined? Looks low to me. According to SB reopening metrics the 14 day average is about 54 cases, or 12 cases per day per 100k (4.48/54). Is my calculation wrong? Must admit, I don't know how that fits with 246 infectious cases, which DoReynoso said are cases within 10 days of test date or symptom onset. if you add up daily announced cases for the last 10 days you get 547, not 246. What don't I understand?

ChemicalSuperFreak Aug 29, 2020 05:56 PM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

PALDRICH: I've been posting similar questions here for weeks. One of state monitoring metrics is new cases over 14-days per 100,000 people. The SBPHD reports a number for that does not match what I get using the state's explicit equation: (total of new cases over 14 days)/population*100,000. Aside from the fact that their total new cases reported on any given day rarely reflects the actual difference in new positive test results from one day to the next. Honestly, I really don't think they have a good handle on the numbers, or a sound set of policies for that matter.

a-1598723975 Aug 29, 2020 10:59 AM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

The website and color system is definitely a lot easier to understand. But I agree, the numbers don't seem to make much sense. But according to the press conference, Van said they only had a few hours notice to review everything before sharing it with the public so I assume they're still trying to learn it too.

AnActualScientist Aug 29, 2020 03:42 PM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

Disappointing update from California's government.
The policies lack scientific approaches. All advanced nations make use of contact tracing to identify infection causes. California does not seem to be capable of this. It has been quiet about their efforts of tracing the spread. Unfortunately this leads to the absurd politics that Santa Barbara County could be shut down due to localized infection clusters in Santa Maria, while San Luis Obispo County is open. The physical distance between Santa Maria and the urban center of SLO is 30min, while it is more than an hour to Santa Barbara. This is beyond science and reason.

In fact scientific studies, references or evidences are consistently missing when the state as well as county representatives present their measures. I claim shutdowns cause more harm to the people than the actual virus. I feel bad for the young people still in school, they will have a hard time with less earnings all their life (https://fresnostate.edu/kremen/about/centers-projects/weltycenter/documents/COVID-19-and-student-learning-in-the-United-States-FINAL.pdf or https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S235246422030095X) due to a virus that they have not caused nor puts them at risk. Studies conducted on past viruses (SARS) on the effect of school closures do not show significant benefits. People just entering the job market are having a hard time and lose valuable time they can't get back. Small businesses following guidelines from public health agencies are still shut down without any evidence being presented. Help these business by providing your scientific evidence and studies, so that they can work towards being even more safe than before. One day hair salons are shut down, the next day they are allowed to open. No explanations given. I predict that the Californian government is losing a lot of trust here. There is no transparency.

The globalization, massive & open movement of people facilitated the spread of the virus. Meanwhile the big tech corporations are cashing out on this crisis. The small business are dieing or hibernating until they can reopen. It is a devastating development. On the long term, it is time for more consolidation of growth, more autonomy of coexisting markets. More reasoning in general and more concentration on own problems than on problems of other countries. More democracy and participation of the people. This I say as an immigrant to the US. It doesn't mean much. But I'm certain on one thing: California is heading the wrong way like this. Very sad, it is such a beautiful piece of land and created so much.

Lastly I experience that the political monopoly in California hurts the decision making. The power seems to be too imbalanced. There is no real opposition visible asking questions. No discussions ongoing. This is most likely the main reason for the poor decision making. I'd love to see actual debates. This will force the participants to be transparent.

Robert247 Aug 31, 2020 07:58 AM
COVID Recap: More Businesses to Open, New State Coding System & More

Just got back from a trip to Cancun, Mexico. There were signs about social distancing at LAX and CUN, but it was not enforced. Lines were stacked together with nobody keeping people at a safe distance. Yes, masks were a requirement and enforced. Here is the irony......when boarding, they boarded the plane from back to front...for social distancing....once seated, you were right next to others for the next hours mind you. Then its time to deplane.... they announce they will deplane by rows and not all at once ....again for social distancing. So they have us sitting almost in each others laps for hours, but when time to deplane, you cannot stand up until your row is called....so you cannot stand right next to each other for 5 minutes, but sitting next to each other for 5 hours is ok? And now I come home to the beaches will all be closed. Last I heard was that being outside was much better than being inside. Thought that the mandates were supposed to follow the science. Another irony here is that it is ok to go be part of a large group and protest, but not go sit on the beach by yourself. I've not seen any restrictions placed upon protesters. Even violence and looting have been allowed to take place. This hypocrisy is getting very old. I'm a registered CA democrat, but that doesn't prohibit me from voting Ind. or Republican. At least not yet. Newsom, Pelosi and a slew of others need to be voted out and it is past time to get back to business as usual. There is hope. I vowed not to talk politics on vacation, but it was on everyone's minds so hard to avoid. Keep this in mind, it is not a great poll, but of the 50+ couples that did talk about it, 2 were for Biden/Harris. The rest, demos or repubs, were for Trump. None of these people were from CA. A number of them were people of color from all over the country including Chicago and New York. It also seemed as if the Trump voters were much more educated both on politics and world events than those that said they were for Biden. We did not ostracize these people either. They were still included in conversation/activities and we all got along. Our dear leaders could use a refresher course on decorum. They slam our president as being divisive when it has been them that have chose not to work with the current president. So if anyone is divisive, they should look in the mirror. They have not wanted to work together for the last 4 years. They only mean work together when they are in power. The current question is.... can we all survive economically until mandates become rational and non partisan? I'm doing ok for now as I have had work as my job is essential. I'm crying out loud for all the people who this is affecting quite negatively.

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