One Death and 73 New COVID-19 Cases

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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is reporting the death of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

The individual resided in the City of Santa Barbara, was over 70 years of age, had underlying health conditions, and was associated with a congregate living facility. Deaths are reported when a death certificate is processed listing COVID-19 as a cause or a significant condition. The process can take several days and up to 2 months to finalize if pending Coroner verification.

“We are saddened by the loss of another Santa Barbara County resident.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all friends and family members as they mourn the passing of their loved one,” said Van Do-Reynoso, Santa Barbara County Public Health Director.

While the specific congregate living facility in Santa Barbara was not mentioned, Alto Lucero Transitional Care currently has the highest number of cumulative residents who tested positive at 33 and 18 for staff members. 

Jan Koegler, PHD's Emergency Preparedness Manager, confirmed all congregate living facilities have rigorous COVID-19 testing each week.

PHD reported 78 new cases during a press conference on Tuesday with a current number of 310 active cases. There are 76 hospitalizations including 31 in the intensive care unit (ICU). There have been a total of 73 deaths.

Due to the previously reported delays with the state's CalREDIE system, PHD anticipates additional COVID-19 positive cases to appear within their totals in the next week. 

Koegler stated a concern that many residents have brought up is how businesses deal with an employee who tests positive for COVID-19. Employees should tell their employer if they or anyone in their household tests positive for COVID-19. The employer should instruct the employee to isolate and not come to work while determining the last day the employee was on-site and what interactions took place, said Koegler.

Anyone who was within six-feet of the employee for more than 15 minutes at a time should quarantine at home for 14 days. Additionally, the business should keep the employee's identity confidental, said Koegler.

Dr. Charles C. Fenzi, CEO/CMO of the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, gave the community an update on the local healthcare facilities. Approximately 22,000 residents are patients of the neighborhood clinics with 76% at or below the poverty level. Approximately 51% of patients are on Medi-Cal or Medi-Care, 31% are without insurance, and 12% have private insurance.

Dr. Fenzi stated the majority of COVID-19 positive patients he encounters are part of the essential workforce so they're in high-risk encounters with others frequently, particularly agricultural occupations. He said some patients are in high-risk living situations with a lot of people in small space, making social distancing almost impossible. He also said overall there was a mentality that younger people weren't going to catch the virus, but that's simply not true.

Five staff members at the clinics tested positive with two of them getting seriously ill. Four of the staff members were believed to have been infected by one person who came into the clinic for an interview without having symptoms, days later that person was hospitalized. 

The clinics offer primary medical care, dental care, access to a behavioral/mental health specialist, chiropractic services, and enabling services meaning non-medical aide that including referrals to housing, transportation, legal aid, and more. 

Dr. Fenzi confirmed the clinics are offering tele-health options and have rearranged schedules so non-COVID-19 patients are seen in the morning, and potential COVID-19 patients are seen in the afternoon with facilities being cleaned each evening. 

For general questions about COVID-19 and precautions currently recommended by Santa Barbara County Public Health, residents may call the Santa Barbara County Call Center at (833)-688-5551 or visit


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Steve_O Aug 12, 2020 08:11 AM
One Death and 73 New COVID-19 Cases

Elderly man, very unhealthy, on his way out, died of old age, tested positive for COVID...COVID death.

This is why watching the news and the reported numbers of COVID are crap.

letmego Aug 12, 2020 11:04 AM
One Death and 73 New COVID-19 Cases

You realize that the list of underlying health conditions is very long. My "elderly" father in law has been living with rheumatoid arthritis (an underlying health condition) for decades now. He's likely to live until 90. So yes, if an "elderly" 70 or 75 year old dies of COVID, then it's a COVID death. I don't consider 20 extra years to be something to sneeze at.

comment1 Aug 12, 2020 09:41 AM
One Death and 73 New COVID-19 Cases

mentally healthy, go ahead and think that. Most people who ignore science will agree with you. It doesn't change the data and facts that the tipping point that caused someone's spirit to leave his body was Covid. Regardless, if your fear keeps coming back, you might want to consider dealing with your fear rather than trying to change the narrative.

a-1597209966 Aug 11, 2020 10:26 PM
One Death and 73 New COVID-19 Cases

Long term care on MediCal (Covered Calif or whatever) is not a viable option. Long-term care for aging baby boomers with no income or resources is not a viable option either. The warnings have been sounded now for years. This facility should not be a surprise to anyone. It is what it is - MediCal funded long term care.

wannutalk Aug 11, 2020 09:15 PM
One Death and 73 New COVID-19 Cases

It is unfortunate that ALTC/Channel Islands Post Acute Care/ Ensign nursing home waited to test, did not notify families promptly of the contagious epidemic within, refused to make public statements about their numbers and continues to not return phone calls to family, journalists and to enlighten a community that sees their numbers of covid afflicted patients steadily rising. Lack of transparency + rising deaths=someone at Ensign who has grossly overestimated management. The administrator has over one hundred souls depending on him. Does he have the expertise to sort this out before the number of 33+positive covid patients double? the majority of other Santa Barbara based skilled nursing homes are no way near the confusion he has got going on. It is partially reassuring to family/friends that outside agencies are coming in to assess and assist. Maybe it's time for the state to assign an outside agency, such as the state, to take over facility. Who's going to advocate for the remaining residents in the facility. They must be scared to death. I would be.

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