First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

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First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County
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Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria (Photo: Dignity Health)

By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County Public Health officials confirm one person died from the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday as the total confirmed cases increases to 111.

The victim was described as a North County resident in their 60's with an underlying health condition. They passed away at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria after being placed in the intensive care unit (ICU) and on a ventilator.

 “We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this patient,” said Santa Barbara County Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg. “While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this disease, and one that we never wanted to see.”

As of 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, there were 12 new cases bringing the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County to 111. Of those cases, 65 are recovering at home, 17 are hospitalized with 13 of those in the ICU, 23 have fully recovered, and 6 are pending. The full details of the 12 new cases can be found here.

Dr. Henning Ansorg confirmed anything that weakens the immune system is considered an underlying condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, or any medication that suppresses the immune system.

He also stated local hospitals are not filled to their maximum capacity and have the ability to expand to surge capacity if necessary. Officials do not expect alternative care sites to be needed before May, but they will be ready in the next week or so. The former Lompoc hospital building will be reopened to handle overflow patients.

All commercial lab testing sites have accelerated their testing to a 48 hour turnaround time. Santa Barbara Public Health is awaiting a supply shipment so that testing may begin in-house. Once the supplies are received, they should be able to start testing in a week.

Cottage Hospital Numbers

Before the press conference Wednesday, Cottage Health released numbers and information on their capacity and preparation for a surge of COVID-19 patients.

Overall, Cottage is currently caring for 135 patients. A total of 238 beds remain available. In their surge planning, they identified capacity for adding 270 acute care beds.

Of the current 135 patients, 11 patients are on ventilators; 49 ventilators remain available (adult, pediatric and neonatal ventilators). In the entire county, there are 85 ventilators available with an additional 25 surge ventilators on hand.

Cottage Health reports of their 135 patients, 26 patients are in isolation for COVID-19 symptoms which includes 7 in critical care. Santa Barbara County Public Health reports only 17 cases are hospitalized with 13 of those in the ICU. It's unclear if some of the 26 reported patients at Cottage Health are awaiting their test results.

In total, Cottage has collected 1,046 cumulative test samples: 52 resulted in positive, 790 resulted in negative, and 204 are pending. The numbers provided by the Public Health Department are lower with only 901 total tests reported as of Wednesday evening.

Additionally, Cottage Health plans to increase staffing by utilizing retired nurses and physicians. These supplementary healthcare workers will be assisted with provided daycare and, where applicable, may also engage in remote work. Additionally, there will be cross-training of employees, increase in hiring of employees, and utilization of partner resources.

Cottage Health’s Infection Prevention & Control Department, in conjunction with infectious disease specialists, has been working closely with care teams to conserve necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). Obtaining additional supplies of PPE continues to be a challenge.

Ventura & San Luis Obispo

As of Wednesday evening, Ventura County reported 160 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 5 deaths. Out of the total 160 cases, 31 have recovered, 34 were hospitalized, and 124 are under an active hospitalization.

Additionally, the Ventura County Public Health Officer announced all parks and beaches in the City of Ventura will be closed until further notice in order to support the urgent need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 emergency period. This includes the Promenade, Pier, and Wastewater Treatment Plant wildlife ponds.

In San Luis Obispo County, there are 83 confirmed cases with 10 hospitalizations and 0 deaths as of Wednesday.

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sacjon Apr 02, 2020 05:33 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

LUCKY777 - the problem is, even if you get a negative test (assuming we had enough test kits to do this), you could still pick it up and not know that you have it while you're back at work. I don't see how anyone will be back at normal jobs this month. It's scary and it sucks, but this thing caught us off guard and unprepared and many still think it's overblown for political reasons so they don't treat it with care!

a-1594604661 Apr 02, 2020 07:44 AM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Can someone from Cottage, Public Health or reporting please put the underlying numbers in an excel spreadsheet? It would be much easier to read and update. Thank you.

a-1594604661 Apr 02, 2020 07:10 AM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Marian Hospital does not have a great reputation. Some of its poor outcomes stems from being a Catholic hospital. I would not go there if I had the choice.

RHS Apr 02, 2020 10:34 AM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Geez...comparing these hospitals on outcomes is like comparing Montecito Union Elementary and SB Unified primary schools. We are not looking at outcomes of randomized subjects. There is a huge difference in the population and their infirmities between Lompoc/Santa Maria and Cottage Santa Barbara. How late was treatment sought, how far gone was the disease, how healthy was the patient outside of the diagnosis, did the patient have medical insurance...?

Sagepup Apr 01, 2020 09:01 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

My condolences to the family. This is heartbreaking. This virus does not care about your politics, or what you think you know, or what news source you read. It kills people! And there comes a time we all should put our differences aside, and show some respect for our fallen neighbor. May this individual suffer no more and rest in peace. My heart, love and prayers goes out to the family and friends who may be hurting from this loss.

mtndriver Apr 02, 2020 12:33 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Amen to that, sagepup! Your post of 9:01 April 1, I mean. Imagine not being able to have family with you when you are dying, being on a ventilator, unable to talk, surrounded by strangers--even if they are kind and helpful strangers. Compassion and respect! May the person's family find some peace in an awful situation.

Ahchooo Apr 01, 2020 08:43 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

I’m very glad to see our hospitals are not yet over capacity. Please stay home, prevent further infection. Unfortunately, some will die simply because the virus is so vicious. But maybe we can prevent anyone from dying due to lack of enough ventilators.

Zenyatta19 Apr 01, 2020 08:42 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

A person has died. How about a little respect for that family? Keep in mind, when someone is admitted to the hospital with Covid 19 and they die, their family never sees them again, ever. They don’t even see the body. So there is no closure here. I cannot think of a sadder situation than to have your loved one in the hospital, and not be able to sit by their bedside or say goodbye... Think about that for a minute.

Bene Apr 02, 2020 09:09 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Re: hospitals not allowing family to see hospitalized relatives, wondering if anyone knows if exceptions can be made if for example, family members signed a waiver to not hold Cottage liable, or were themselves recovered with antibodies? If I were old and dying from Covid 19, think I'd rather die at home.

Get over it Apr 01, 2020 08:28 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Are all of these, mostly political, comments based on the article posted or are you all just firing off at every opportunity? Not one is actually focussed on the fact that a person died. My condolences to their family.

Alexblue Apr 02, 2020 09:36 AM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

88 You do realize that the Trump administration's response to this has been more about political messaging than crisis management? O r maybe you don't. "The President's guidelines". AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! As if he has any knowledge of the issue or the expertise to craft such guidelines. It's pure political grandstanding, just like the way that with every press conference they make sure that everyone who speaks always engages in a round of promoting Trump before all else. Just like the way that Trump has been working to put his own signature on the relief checks that are due to go out--which don't come from Donald J Trump, they come from he U.S. Treasury. It's all about maintaining power and wealth--such as the 170 billion dollars that will be handed out to wealthy commercial real estate developers as a result of the stimulus package, one of the biggest thefts from the American people in history. "The President's guidelines". LOL

a-1594604661 Apr 01, 2020 11:31 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

You missed one thing in your reading.... County officials predict the peak of cases will be between April 26 and July 28. Everyone needs to stay home.

420722 Apr 01, 2020 08:01 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

I’m so glad you have a calm tone and a good outlook on this 88. That is hard a hard quality to find in people as of late. Just because I am not frantic, paranoid and basically screaming at people doesn’t mean I am not taking this seriously.

x01660 Apr 01, 2020 06:57 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

88, you mean the guidelines that medical professionals have been trying to get EVERYONE to follow since January, and that the president denied (https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/politics/trump-coronavirus-statements/), until it started affecting the economy? Sure. I'll follow those guidelines....

x01660 Apr 01, 2020 06:49 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Its difficult to not be snarky when you respond to a strawman of my argument. And given the severity of what's going on, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bit on edge. In this case, I wasn't "wrong" per se, but I agree with you that my sarcasm was unwarranted. And for that, I apologize. That said, in these times, we need to minimize the misinformation. And since I'm taking this situation seriously, I'm a bit more on edge than I usually would be. So I agree. we should ALL calm down. But it DOES NOT IN ANY WAY reduce or minimize the validity or seriousness of what I've written.

x01660 Apr 01, 2020 06:40 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Coming from the same president that said: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” (1/22), “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” (2/10), “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”, (2/24), “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” (2/28), “The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power ... to inflame the CoronaVirus situation.” (3/9). And THIS is the person you're putting your faith in? I feel sorry for you.....

sacjon Apr 01, 2020 06:28 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

X01660 - silencing people you don't agree with in the name of "public safety" is a dangerous road to start down. The internet is overflowing with false information. Telling someone not to post something that may or may not be true is a waste of your energy. If you disagree, post what you think is the correct info.

x01660 Apr 01, 2020 06:24 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

88, I actually have an account here, so I can be held accountable for my words. So no need to refer to me like you would an anonymous poster. :) That said, you literally posted in another thread: "New York City has 1 case per 200 persons. Santa Barbara has 1 case per 4400 persons. Santa Barbara County started lock downs a week before NYC. We will have a 90% drop in new cases by April 7." And THAT"S what I mean by not making assertions unless you're 100% sure. You write something like that, and someone who's not as well read or intelligent will take that as "Oh, we'll be ok!" And they go out. Thus defeating the whole "flattening the curve" that medical professionals are trying to get us to abide by. And that will result in more people getting sick and dying. What you posted is your INTERPRETATION of the statistics. NOT the OBJECTIVE TRUTH of what's happening. Keep your opinions to yourself, or state them explicitly as such. Otherwise, the the responsibility of the people that read your comments, go out, get sick, and die is on your head. Do what you want.

x01660 Apr 01, 2020 06:07 PM
First Coronavirus Death Hits Santa Barbara County

Your misinformation is gonna get people killed, dude. This situation isn't the normal "everybody post their (unfounded) opinions on Edhat" situation. People are worried and will latch on to anything that will make them feel better (confirmation bias). PLEASE, unless you actually KNOW what you're talking about, keep the darn pontifications to yourself. Or at least state that its your opinion. Seriously. The LAST thing we need is more misinformation. We get ENOUGH of that ish from our Commander in Chief.....

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