Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses title=
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses
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Governor Gavin Newsom leading a press conference (Photo: Office of the Governor)

By Lauren Bray, edhat staff

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart discussed the financial constraints of reopening businesses on Governor Newsom's framework.

Earlier this week Gov. Newsom announced six indicators that are needed to modify the stay-at-home order. The first one being the ability to monitor and protect communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed.

During Thursday afternoon's local press conference, Hart explained this is beyond our current testing capabilities. Local governments and healthcare providers will need more financial assistance from state and federal governments to take on the new responsibilities required to make the transition work, he said. 

Hart stated the county will take a $37-40 million dollar economic hit due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). He estimated the county has already incurred $7-10 million for its COVID-19 response, most of which include the cost of opening and staffing the Emergency Operations Center. 

Approximately $30 million is related to revenue declines in sales and transient occupancy taxes ($3.7 million), local public safety sales tax ($4.8 million), state public safety realignment funds ($7.9 million), and health and human services realignment funds ($13.3 million).

On March 27, the third supplemental response package to the COVID-19 pandemic called “The CARES Act” was signed into law. The act directs $150 billion to be divided among the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the territories, and tribal governments. Within a state, only “units of local governments” with populations that exceed 500,000 are eligible to receive direct funding from the federal government as a portion of the State’s allocation. Santa Barbara County falls below the 500,000 population threshold, and therefore will not receive such funding.

"Now more than ever we will need even more assistance to help us get the financial resources necessary to implement the Governor's COVID-19 transition framework and get our community back to work, This is the critical first step to making that happen," said Hart. 

Newsom has made it clear there is not a precise timeline for modifying the stay-at-home order, but the six indicators will serve as the framework for making that decision. 

During a national press conference on Thursday evening, President Trump announced guidelines for opening states and left the decision up to governors. State leaders were provided with a phased list of criteria to lift social distancing restrictions.

The guidelines suggest states should see a decrease in confirmed COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period. This falls in line with Newsom's statement that California will not reopen until there is a decline in the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and patients requiring care in ICU beds.

The White House guidance also states that hospitals should be able to “treat all patients without crisis care” and have a “robust testing system in place for at-risk health care workers” before proceeding to a phased reopening.

Newsom stated since the pandemic began, the number of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in California hospitals declined. He said the number of patients in ICUs statewide increased by 1.4 percent to 1,191, but isn’t drastically different than the 1,175 patients who tested positive in ICUs throughout the state on Monday.

“You have successfully bent and arguably flattened the curve in the state of California,” said Newsom. “We continue to need to maintain our vigilance, guided not by political decision-making, guided by data, guided by facts, guided by science, guided by health professionals all throughout the state of California.”

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a-1587151914 Apr 17, 2020 12:31 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

You would hope that because we fall below the threshold for federal funding, the state would step in. I can understand helping out people who live and work here but entered the county illegally but if there is room in the state budget to help them ($125M), there certainly should be room to help us afford to test more people.

a-1587157408 Apr 17, 2020 02:03 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

SAM - the whole reason I'm working from home, with my kids doing remote school, not playing baseball, not going to concerts, etc etc... is so that I don't get covid. That's the whole point of all this. If not, then I'm confused.

Sam The Dog Apr 17, 2020 02:28 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

@ 2:03 sort of, it's so you don't get covid right now. The point of all this, at least as originally pitched by the doctors and politicians, was "bending the curve" to get the number of cases that require hospitalization at any given time under the max capacity of our health care system so it doesn't get overwhelmed and lead to a higher mortality rate due to the inability to effectively treat everyone that needs advanced care. It was never a stay at home until this goes away. Those at high risk, should stay home until it goes away.

a-1587369726 Apr 20, 2020 01:02 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Antibody tests are not yet valid because they haven't been validated as accurate. I know that sounds like a circular argument, sorry. I won't cite sources; It's easy to find news, both public and technical, about the tests. We're not there yet; they're not ready for nation-wide, accurate testing.

a-1587161564 Apr 17, 2020 03:12 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

The idea of herd immunity is simple: Once enough people in society are immune to a disease, if one person becomes infected, the chance they give it to someone else is less than one. It is estimated that 80% of the population would need to be immune to have true herd immunity. However, if we have even half that, we would slow the increase of the virus dramatically. This would make surveillance easier and decrease the chance that a second wave could overwhelm our health care system this fall.
In summary
Continued shutdowns threaten our economy, our health and even our healthcare system.
The state of our economy is not just a monetary risk, it is a health risk. When people lose their jobs, they typically lose their health insurance. The British Journal of Psychiatry found that there were more than 10,000 “economic suicides” as a result of the 2008 recession. Similarly, a 2016 study from The Lancet found that there were an excess 260,000 cancer deaths as a result of the recession. These statistics also fail to mention the increased domestic violence, increased child abuse and home loss when schools and businesses are closed.
In spite of the changing goalposts: The number of new cases is declining. The mortality is likely much lower than early estimates. Those who have been infected by the disease will most likely be immune for at least a year. Finally, the lives saved by starting the economy sooner vastly outnumber those that could be saved by extended shutdowns.

Sam The Dog Apr 17, 2020 03:36 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Right on 3:12! I don't believe our Public Health experts, or politicians, are taking into account the negative HEALTH consequences of extremely high unemployment in a tanking economy when responding to the covid threat. AND with many others out there.

macpuzl Apr 17, 2020 04:08 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

STD - It seems you didn't read your cited articles very carefully. The Yale article is from 2002, and the NIH article is from 2004, and neither shows that the mortality rates come anywhere near what COVID-19 could do, just that there is a correlated uptick in mortality when unemployment is high. Not surprising, especially with our system of for-profit healthcare.

a-1587327382 Apr 19, 2020 01:16 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Antibodies are produced in response in 7-11 days after SARS-COV-2 appears in the body. It does not mean that the virus has cleared, that is patently false. Where you are close to accurate is that this does not mean the people tested are currently carrying the virus. In fact, they may have had another variation of the coronavirus, like the common cold.

Regarding the conclusion of the article, the author is saying that there are more people who have been infected, and therefore infecting others, than we know. Without truly knowing what is going on, who is actually infected, we risk a second wave of infections, and we are locked down until September, which is not acceptable. Do you part, start isolated, and we'll be back in business by June 1.
Also, the antibody test given, which hasn't been approved by the FDA, has at best 50% accuracy levels .

midair Apr 17, 2020 03:49 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

If it was your husband, wife, or child in ICU and it could have been prevented then I am sure you would think it was worth shutting down business for awhile so they could live. It's all hypothetical until it's not.

Coolio Apr 17, 2020 04:59 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Remember early in March when Trump had the press briefing with all those CEO's? He said in very short order there would be drive-thru testing through out the nation in the parking lots of Walmart, CVS, Target, etc... He Google said was creating a website that would allow anyone with symptoms to enter some data and determine if they needed to be tested and if so where to get tested. Here we are over a month later and we still don't have it. Pathetic!

a-1587234293 Apr 18, 2020 11:24 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

The Washington Post separately confirmed that Food and Drug Administration officials concluded that the CDC violated its own laboratory standards in making the kits. The substandard practices exposed the kits to contamination.
The troubled segment of the test was not critical to detecting the novel coronavirus, experts said. But after the difficulty emerged, CDC officials took more than a month to remove the unnecessary step from the kits, exacerbating nationwide delays in testing, according to an examination of federal documents and interviews with more than 30 present and former federal scientists and others familiar with the events .

a-1587370154 Apr 20, 2020 01:09 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Here's the WaPo article:

a-1587370519 Apr 20, 2020 01:15 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Still looking for transcript of his visit and talk at the CDC in March, was it? Weren't there to be 27 million or so tests available by the end of March? We can peruse these speeches:

a-1587171347 Apr 17, 2020 05:55 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

The virus was spreading rapidly throughout the Bay Area Dec-Mar, 750,000 traveled from China to CA Nov-Jan! Highly contagious, do the math. Most didn't have symptons, or maybe got a bit sick, some went to the hospital. The big question, did the healthcare system melt down then? Is it melting down now? The TRUE mortality rate, when you re-do the numbers, is around 0.1% or even less, just as many of us were saying all along, yet we were slammed as 'deniers' or 'mass murderers' or something, simply because we know math_and_statistics and don't have a political agenda.

Chip of SB Apr 17, 2020 08:20 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Below is a link to an article about the recent study in Santa Clara County. Antibody testing indicates the true number of cases is 50-85 times higher than the official confirmed case count. That also means the true fatality rate is 1/50th or 1/85th what is indicated based on the "confirmed" case count, in the neighborhood of 0.1%. That is comparable to the flu.

macpuzl Apr 17, 2020 08:35 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

An article that has not passed peer review, and the same article cited by Shasta earlier. Is the state of antibody testing reliable enough to make those conclusions? And as one of the authors of the study is quoted in the article: "If 50 times more people have had the infection, the death rate could drop by that same factor, putting it "somewhere between 'little worse than the flu' to 'twice as bad as the flu' in terms of case fatality rate," Bhattacharya said.

But he cautioned that the flu and coronavirus are still quite different. For one, we don't yet have a vaccine for Covid-19."

Sam The Dog Apr 18, 2020 10:50 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

The flu shot "vaccine" is different because the flue virus changes so frequently they make new vaccines on their best guest as the the type(s) of strains that will be prevalent in the coming year. The flue shot doesn't prevent you from getting the flue in the way the ones for smallpox, MMR, chicken pox, polio, etc. protect you for those.

macpuzl Apr 18, 2020 12:56 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

STD, your lack of knowledge certainly doesn't stop you from flaunting it. Those other vaccines also need to be boosted or repeated occasionally because antibodies may not persist. All vaccines potentially have a time limit as immunity wanes, especially if the pathogen is a virus that mutates rapidly, like HIV or influenza.
(And a flue is a way to get smoke out of your chimney.)

Bird Apr 18, 2020 03:14 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

How do you figure that? There is no way of knowing the true fatality rate without knowing the true number of people infected --- and without universal testing we will not know. In the LAT this morning there is a story about how the numbers of those infected in the Bay Area are considerably higher than first thought, approximately, the size of the annual number of deaths from flu. There's a similar study underway in the LA area and they'll report the results on Monday.

Pugluvr1912 Apr 18, 2020 03:32 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses


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