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-1587098240 Apr 16, 2020 09:37 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Please allow cosmetologists esthetician’s and nail techs to go back to work. We will wear masks and gloves and sanitize everything. A lot of us will lose our businesses. We can work on one person at a time! We can’t get PPP loans and we still can’t apply for pandemic unemployment assistance until the 28th that means we will not have had any income for SIX WEEKS. We have mortgages, and are still responsible for paying our business rent out of our own pockets since the PPP loan was out of money when they finally allowed us to apply. How do we feed our families if we didn’t have savings with no end in sight and all of our expenses. The self employed are screwed once again!!! If you are FORCING us to stay home TAKE CARE OF US! You have left us out here to starve!

a-1587101618 Apr 16, 2020 10:33 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Quit whinning . We are all in the same vote . I, too am out of work . You are already being helped by the President and there is unemployment benefits even food stamps if your in need . If you and everyone else jumps the gun then confinement and joblessness will last that much longer . Bare with it . The sooner you do, like the rest of us the faster this crisis will end . If you think i like sitting in my house all day your wrong . We're all in this together so quit your whinning .

Peenbun Apr 17, 2020 03:58 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Did you not read the comment? No unemployment has been received as of yet, no stimulus check in the bank account yet. We are all in this together. Compassion and understanding, and empathy will really help. Let us hairdressers receive the help from the stimulus package we desperately need.

a-1587134209 Apr 17, 2020 07:36 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

I think nail and hair salons should be allowed to reopen with strict rules, and with clear caveats that going to one is risky. No one over fifty or with underlying conditions allowed in the door, one customer and one tech per hundred square feet, and everyone must wear N95 masks constantly. Oh that’s right, we don’t have N95s. Never mind.

biguglystick Apr 17, 2020 01:40 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Don't tell people who are genuinely suffering to "quit whining" and this president isn't helping anyone! Stimulus check should be a given, we pay our taxes. Trump has handled this whole thing horribly. He needs to go back to reality tv. He wasn't even good at that.

yin yang Apr 20, 2020 03:11 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Your situation is horrible. But personal physical services are the last ones I'd go to! Though I've never been comfortable with having someone scrape the dead skin off my feet. I did have my nails done once. ;-) -------------------------------- If you like, contact Edhat and I'll buy you groceries. I'm going to send this post to Edhat.

a-1587131160 Apr 17, 2020 06:46 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

We have applied for everything, still can’t get the help week need. We were doing so well before this. Calfresh is taking too long, can’t get self employed unemployment for 2 more weeks. Still haven’t gotten stimulus check yes I went to irs wesite and did all that, can’t get the PPP loan or the economy injury loan I applied for weeks ago. Government needs to get their act together. If we can’t get the help we need you need to let us work, otherwise we will starve. My business is ruined, stuck in a commercial lease for 4 more years. We’re hurting! I have 3 other people that depend on my income.

Shasta Guy Apr 17, 2020 07:42 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Things need to open up soon or there will be unprecedented economic suffering at many levels. This city has shown how to stall the progress of the virus, and now we need to reactivate the economy using the same precautions.

a-1587136706 Apr 17, 2020 08:18 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

This is all very interesting when we know so little about the long-term effects of COVID. The survival rates by age group seem straight forward, but so much more data is coming out - and lot of it is scary. A lot of that data, too, will take years to properly understand. For instance, we are seeing what looks like long-term lung damage, heart damage, kidney damage, etc. in numerous patients who have survived. I'm not talking about someone who is 82 year old, who some people on this website seem to think are expendable due to advanced age. I'm talking about people in their 40s, etc. We're seeing liver panels, etc. that even weeks after testing negative for the virus are not normal. We are seeing a profile of a disease that also targets fertility, including the testes. SARS had documented long-term effects on many men's fertility. The expression profile for this disease targets similarly - will we see a decline in fertility in young, healthy men due to this? What about women? When this first hit and we went into lockdown a month ago I was very much in favor of the idea of "reopening" the economy. I have since completely changed my view upon endless research of this disease, seeing the disturbing things we do know, as well as realizing how much we DON'T know. It's too soon to make a call. We need way more information on what this does to people longterm. It is not about surviving a common cold. Even Dr. Fauci said there is something about this disease we do not yet understand, that doesn't quite make sense. Why it hits some people so hard who have no underlying issues like age, obesity, etc.

Jfc723 Apr 17, 2020 08:41 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

The problem is that California was never on lockdown nor the US. It was/is a stay at home order that was slowly modified as they waited for more cases and deaths and that order was really never enforced. People were and still out living a normal live like they are on vacation. Many people don’t even believe in the pandemic.

a-1587138750 Apr 17, 2020 08:52 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

8:41 - I also don't think most Americans understand the extent to which Asian countries "getting back to normal" (China, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea) are in extreme control. Temperature scanning everywhere - at every restaurant, store, mall. Forced handover of ID and subscription to tracing apps. Rapid testing, which makes contact tracing actually work. Etc. America has basically none of this, and will have none of it several months from now. We won't be "getting back to normal" anytime soon.

Xantus Apr 17, 2020 09:57 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

way to be obtuse in a thread about opening local businesses..

state st is dead, lower and upper. air traffic is down 95%. there is basically no tourism happening...

we currently aren't part of the "world".

Jfc723 Apr 17, 2020 11:07 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

3 deaths from any type its too much in my book. All of the sudden everyone its ok with people dying. Once it hits home then people shut up and follows order. In the meantime its all a hoax for certain people.

a-1587150264 Apr 17, 2020 12:04 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

SAM - why do you republicans always use car deaths as some sort of "argument" against everything? It is so completely outdated, tired, illogical and just plain silly. You can' compare everything to cars. Try something else.

Sam The Dog Apr 17, 2020 12:16 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

I have not used that before but in this case it is dead on in my reply to JFC's comment. I could use bicycle accidents and pool drownings. Do we ban all bikes and swimming pools? There is a certain level of risk society accepts with everything, we make strong attempts to mitigate those risks but they don't go away.

biguglystick Apr 17, 2020 01:35 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Well, Sam, you sure seem eager to go out there and get the disease. Go right on ahead. I'm staying safe. We have not seen anything like this before, and until ALL the science is in on this one, I'm not taking any chances, and neither should anyone else. It's selfish because of the way this thing spreads. You are careless? You spread it to people who aren't. Terrible. Just be careful out there. We do not need to reopen non-essential businesses yet. We can figure this out.

Sam The Dog Apr 17, 2020 08:41 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

We went under the stay at home order for one reason: to flatten the curve so as not to exceed our health care systems capacity. Stay at home was never meant to be a stay at home until there is a vaccine or to prevent everyone from ever getting it. Most of us will get it. Flattening the curve just limits the number people at any given time who have it and delays the peak so that health care providers can better prepare. This is a disaster no doubt about it. Many have died, many more will die, and many may have lasting health issues. It sucks, its sad, it's the reality we're in. But! We've flattened the curve, improved the capacity and capabilities our health care system, significantly reduced the mortality rate and even discovered many who get it might not even show symptoms. It's time to get back to work! Those at higher risk, stay home, stay safe, we'll get the car warmed up for you.

NotReallyDave Apr 17, 2020 09:35 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

I see that the City of Santa Barbara is already going back to work. Tree trimming crews are out working today because some trees are "essentially" too overgrown and could not wait a few weeks. You just cannot have tree trimmers sitting home like the rest of us.

a-1587147377 Apr 17, 2020 11:16 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

This is not a political post, but Trump did just encourage protesters to "LIBERATE" (his words) Michigan, Minnisota and Virginia from the stay at home orders. This is dangerous. This gives legitimacy to what could become violent protests. This will make it that much harder for our country to get back to "normal" when we now have a "command" from the top to ignore stay at home orders. This is not good.-----------

a-1587147903 Apr 17, 2020 11:25 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Coolio - as much as I'd love to thin out that herd, problem is what happens when they bring their infected butts over the state line and start spreading it all over again? I think we need put a wall around these states pronto! If we can put a wall to keep people from coming here to work, we should be able to get support for a wall to keep people from spreading a deadly disease!

Sam The Dog Apr 17, 2020 11:25 AM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Most of us thought the original stay at home order for a month or so was wise, we understood why we needed to bend the curve (see prior post). Most are not okay with continuing that stay at home order after the curve has been bent. Many would not have been on board for an extended shutdown while our business failed, jobs disappeared and bank accounts evaporated until the virus was gone. If Newsome or our local county leaders continue this stay at home after the curve is bent it is up to us citizens to make our voices heard and remind these politicians they work for us.

Sam The Dog Apr 17, 2020 12:09 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

You're reading too much into a tweet. I have never even considered joining any type of protest but if the stay at home continues in Santa Barbara County into May I will be out there. People still aren't accepting the fact that most of us will get it. Staying at home until a vaccine is developed is not an option!

sacjon Apr 17, 2020 12:51 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

Sam the dog - then you better get your poster board and megaphone ready. The stay at home will definitely go into May here in SBC. Heck, they've already cancelled Solstice in June. I agree that staying closed until we have a vaccine is ridiculous, but we need a little more time to keep the curve flattened. We go back to normal now and will end up starting all over again. Give it another month. But, if you want to go protest, have at it!

a-1587151657 Apr 17, 2020 12:27 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

SAM - If you think I'm reading too much into a tweet by DJT, you haven't been watching the news. His followers hinge on his every word. He says "liberate" and it means only one thing: at the very least, ignore the stay at home order and go to work. For his more extreme and violent followers, it means more. When he says something like this, it legitimizes the absurd (and heavily armed) protesters who are out marching close to each other, ignoring social distancing and basically not giving a hoot about this disease. We should not be legitimizing those actions, we should be condemning them.

Sam The Dog Apr 17, 2020 01:17 PM
Officials Discuss Cost and Timeline of Reopening Businesses

I'm not saying back to normal and certainly not having large gatherings for the foreseeable future. Let non-essential business open back up that don't require large groups of the public in a confined space (theaters, bowling alleys, etc.). Let small businesses reopen with basic protective measures in place, even restaurants with spaced out seating and servers in masks. Remember just before this first started people weren't even washing their hands! Now we're supper sensitive to this, keep more space between people, more cognizant how we sneeze/cough, etc. so it won't spread like wildfire. But, as we can't wait out a vaccine, it will spread and most of us will get infected. Extending the stay home beyond what is needed to flatten the curve below health cares capacity unnecessarily delays the inevitable, most of us getting it.


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