Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

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Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County
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County Supervisor Gregg Hart speaking during Friday's press conference

By edhat staff

The COVID-19 outbreak at the Federal Penitentiary in Lompoc could delay reopening Santa Barbara County, officials announced during a press conference Friday afternoon.

Governor Newsom released new guidance and requirements to move into Phase 2 of reopening. The first two criteria state COVID-19 related deaths must not occur in the past 14 days, and there is no more than one case per 10,000 residents in that same time period. 

Due to the circumstances at the Lompoc prison, Santa Barbara County fails that test. Approximately 95% of California also fails and will still be bound by the stay-at-home orders until the Governor lessens the restrictions.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart stated these new requirements were not what officials were hoping and preparing for. 

Gov. Newsom has previously stated the virus is still very contagious and any county that refuses to follow his orders may run the risk of losing financial assistance, said Hart. 

LOMPOC PRISON

What makes Santa Barbara County's situation worse is the ever-increasing outbreak at the Lompoc Prison. 

Public Health officials reported 311 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, with 310 cases belonging to the Lompoc prison outbreak. As well as two new deaths, one being an inmate.

Assuming the county doesn't have any other COVID-19 deaths in the next 14 days, the earliest date to slowly reopen would be May 23.

Making matters worse, county officials are being "constantly rebuffed" by prison authorities when trying to help the outbreak, said Hart.

The county is responsible for the tracking, monitoring, and reporting of COVID-19 cases at the federal penitentiary, but they have no authority to resolve the issues as it's overseen by the federal government, he said.

Hart continued explaining he has been contacted by numerous family members of inmates who have been unable to communicate with their loved ones or learn the status of their health. 

"That is very concerning," he said.

Local state legislators are now jumping on board to appeal to Gov. Newsom and his office for help. 

As of Friday evening, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is reporting 823 inmates and 25 staff members test positive for COVID-19.

County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg stated there will be a discrepancy between the prison's reporting and the Public Health Department's depending on when the data is received. However, 70% of inmates that test positive report mild to no symptoms. 

Dr. Ansorg stated he's in constant communication with state officials and is confident they will work together to reopen the county quickly. 

THE NUMBERS

The latest numbers show 1,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Barba County, 582 cases are at the Federal Prison in Lompoc and 450 are community cases, and 463 have fully recovered.

Two hundred twenty-five people are recovering out-of-hospital, 39 are recovering in a hospital, 12 of whom are in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and 294 are pending an update. Eleven deaths have been reported.

Two deaths were reported today, one being an inmate at the Lompoc Prison, the other was an individual who resided in the City of Lompoc and was in their 60’s with underlying health conditions.

“We are saddened by the loss of these individuals and extend our deepest condolences to their friends and families. As we continue to battle the spread of COVID-19, we ask community members to continue doing their part by wearing facial coverings while in public and continuing to practice social distancing,” said Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, Director of Public Health.

Dr. Ansorg confirmed that hospitalization and ICU rates are remaining stable and hospitals are operating below capacity. The county numbers are currently very high as each inmate and staff member is being tested at the prison as part of general screening. 

For more information on the location and ages of each case, publichealthsbc.org.

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1002110 May 11, 2020 11:18 AM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

>Due to the circumstances at the Lompoc prison, Santa Barbara County fails that test. Approximately 95% of California also fails and will still be bound by the stay-at-home orders until the Governor lessens the restrictions. WRONG. Public Health just told me that SB County would not meet the 14 day requirement even if you ignore the prison outbreak.

a-1591055307 May 10, 2020 07:17 AM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Painful to read about and see the photos of Lompoc in yesterday's Washington Post. The story about the mishandling of the virus at the prison is one thing. But kitchen workers without gloves. Store patrons with neck tattoos. Lots of negatives picked up by readers, according to the comment section. Not what the Chamber of Commerce would promote.

PitMix May 11, 2020 01:02 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Tee Gee, let me rephrase GeneralTree's thought. The situation at the Lompoc Prison is a result of the ineffective policies and posturing by the Republican Leader and his self-selected loyalists in response to this global epidemic. But I'm pretty sure prettifying up the language won't make it any more palatable to you.

Tee Gee May 10, 2020 05:33 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

General Tree: It has been my experience in 68 years of existence on this planet that when confrontational verbiage regresses to calling names, the proponent of said verbiage really has nothing important to say. I might suggest you manufacture an original thought, and generally, do your homework.

Bene May 09, 2020 06:09 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

The infected prisoners and infected prison workers ARE part of SB County and should be counted as such. The infected prison workers are free to bring their infection along with them when they shop in Santa Barbara. live in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Buellton or wherever. Prisoners who are released are also free to bring anything acquired in prison into the greater communities.

420722 May 09, 2020 05:07 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Outside of the Jail cases we only had 1 new case on Friday, 1. What happened happened to that surge we were supposedly going to have because of all the careless Beach goers? Did they all get locked up at Lompoc jail?

a-1591055307 May 10, 2020 01:11 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

@ 4:55: where did you get that nonsense, unless you mean Newsom sent $1 Billion to Communist China for the $5 masks, which have yet to be delivered? Must have come from The Washington Compost or the Trump-hating NPR. The U.S exported masks to Communist China (3M Corporation), we did not buy them from there, they came from TAIWAN! From many sources, including Business Insider, "Taiwan made a donation of 500,000 masks to the US in order to supplement the dwindling national stockpile." So, as usual, more unsubstantiated, false. and twisted news from the MSM.

a-1591055307 May 10, 2020 12:30 AM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Kushner was assembling a team of handpicked corporate volunteers to procure protective equipment. The group, which included recent college graduates who had no experience with disaster response or supply procurement, had little success.

PdW May 09, 2020 10:01 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Yeah this story made no sense. Either the guy with the mothballed machines is a complete blowhard (best case scenario) or a crook... because his position and statements make no sense. He’s claiming to have the means to make millions of the products that literally every single government (and by extension person) desperately wants and is wildly overpaying for... but he won’t do it? What great cost and difficulty could it be to get new machines up and running to make a product that you literally could sell as many as you could make as fast as you could make them. That story needed to be fact checked by the WaPost as it was obviously At the very least wildly incomplete... And more probably total BS.

a-1591055307 May 09, 2020 10:01 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Yeah this story made no sense. Either the guy with the mothballed machines is a complete blowhard (best case scenario) or a crook... because his position and statements make no sense. He’s claiming to have the means to make millions of the products that literally every single government (and by extension person) desperately wants and is wildly overpaying for... but he won’t do it? What great cost and difficulty could it be to get new machines up and running to make a product that you literally could sell as many as you could make as fast as you could make them. That story needed to be fact checked by the WaPost as it was obviously At the very least wildly incomplete... And more probably total BS.

ChemicalSuperFreak May 09, 2020 08:06 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

I left it out because it's immaterial. Are you not following the conversation? This was about reactivating his dormant equipment (at great cost) and the government apparently had little interest. If you argue he wasn't going to put a surcharge on the masks, why didn't this great patriot just make them and sell them directly to the American citizens who have been clamoring for them? Why cross his arms and decide to keep the machines mothballed? There's something that doesn't add up about this story and it's too bad if you can't see that.

a-1591055307 May 09, 2020 07:37 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

You conveniently left out the part where he is selling masks to FEMA at 79 cents a piece with existing working equipment. " On April 7, FEMA awarded Prestige a $9.5 million contract to provide a million N95 masks a month for one year, an order the company could fulfill without activating its dormant manufacturing lines. For the masks, Prestige charged the government 79 cents a piece."

ChemicalSuperFreak May 09, 2020 07:22 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Who cares about the government. The states compete to purchase masks so they can stockpile them and then complain they don't have enough. I'm talking about everyday people who are being ordered to wear masks, but can't buy them. Bowen's company could have made and sold 25 million N95 masks to American citizens who need them, but he didn't. He's says he's, "a patriot first, businessman second." No he's not, or he would have manufactured the masks. I think he's the opposite. I think he was looking for a lucrative government contract where he could justify selling the masks to the feds for $50/each because, "Reactivating these machines would be very difficult and very expensive."

ChemicalSuperFreak May 09, 2020 06:50 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

The story you’re referring to appears in today’s Washington Post, and after reading it I have one really important question. In the article Michael Bowen says of his company (Prestige Ameritech), “We still have four like-new N95 manufacturing lines…Reactivating these machines would be very difficult and very expensive but could be achieved in a dire situation…My phones are ringing now, so I don’t ‘need’ government business. I’m just letting you know that I can help you preserve our infrastructure if things ever get really bad. I’m a patriot first, businessman second.” The WP article continues, “In the end, the government did not take Bowen up on his offer. Even today, production lines that could be making more than 7 million masks a month sit dormant.” REALLY??? I thought his phone was ringing off the hook??? I know that I could not find N95 masks anywhere, and neither could anyone else. This exchange between Bowen was reportedly back on Jan. 23, which means that by now he could have made an additional 25 million mask as of today’s date (when this WP article was published).

RHS May 09, 2020 06:31 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

He was given no alternative by the President. Each governor was to fend for him/herself. Instead of a national unified buying power we have 50 states and more territories vying with each other, allowing the vendors to constantly jack up prices. And, according to this morning's LA Time, substantial amounts of this deal have been recovered and abrogated. By the way, one of the middle men was the former Republican Attorney General of Georgia as I recall. Wonder how he got in this business?

Tee Gee May 09, 2020 05:38 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Meanwhile, Gavin Newsome bought 990 million dollars worth of masks from China. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-20/gavin-newsom-n95-masks-byd-chinese-company-california-legislature

RHS May 09, 2020 04:33 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

We are not "slipping into socialism", we are running rapidly into fascism. Trump announced to day that his government is going to spend billions of dollars on buying products from private food industries to prop those businesses up. This is the person who ordered workers back into the meat industry despite the huge risk of Covid-19 infection they face. No executives of these businesses are being told to go onto the butcher shop floor and breath for 8 hour days.

LCP112233 May 11, 2020 02:55 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Thank you @4:35. I think it's disgusting, sad that some commenters suggest groups of individuals should catch the disease in order to get rid of them. Really scary that Americans, or any human being would with this upon anyone.

a-1591055307 May 09, 2020 04:35 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

LCP--it is civilized of you that you not suggest we simply let them die and save the taxpayers the money for incarceration and medical treatment. You are a warm and considerate fellow American.

Lorax May 09, 2020 10:26 AM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Huston, we have a problem If we we only had Texas's Governor. They are handling the "hot spots" such as prisons, nursing homes and flare up areas with restrictions and all other areas are open. The Prison has their own hospital now . They are isolated with no visitors allowed. There is no reason we should not be allowed to go to the next phase. As for deaths, one person in Santa Maria. My condolences to the family . I wish they would publish all deaths, wish financial deaths were a category from all other causes other than Covid so people have a reality check . This political game we are all victims of , Newsome has become Govornor Nuisance . Both parties are using the moment to further their agendas that don't necessarily protect our best interests. Slowly slipping into socialism right in front of our eyes. I'm beginning to fear the politics/ management, manipulated news more than the virus. Open up everything please ,continue social distancing and require masks be worn while in public even outside with violations punishable by a large fine.

RHS May 09, 2020 04:37 PM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

We are not "slipping into socialism", we are running rapidly into fascism. Trump announced to day that his government is going to spend billions of dollars on buying products from private food industries to prop those businesses up. This is the person who ordered workers back into the meat industry despite the huge risk of Covid-19 infection they face. No executives of these businesses are being told to go onto the butcher shop floor and breath for 8 hour days.

a-1591055307 May 09, 2020 10:17 AM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

Watched the press conference, interesting that Hart was vague when asked by Noozhawk reporter, what specifically was county being “rebuffed” about. Hart was also evasive when reporter pressed him on the fact that Prison employees lived among others in the County so how can county reasonably expect the numbers in the prison to be distinct from County. It’s frustrating but reality is, every region has some congregate care or living facilities w high numbers. County wants prison population included in Census- so, they’ll be included for other purposes as well.

mtndriver May 09, 2020 10:04 AM
Lompoc Prison Could Delay Reopening of Santa Barbara County

What is motivating the BOP to be so secretive? Maybe the fact that it's beginning to look like more than half the prisoners are infected at Lompoc? Really doesn't instill confidence. They are used to operating completely independently of anything local, got complacent with that, seems like. I used to volunteer there long ago teaching meditation. A world unto itself.

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