Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical" title=
Graph of COVID-19 case rates from March 2019 to present day (Source: SBC Public Health Department)
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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) claimed the recent increase in COVID-19 cases is "astounding" and "astronomical."

PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso made the statements during the Board of Supervisor meeting on Tuesday morning.

The county's case rate is 68 per 100,000 population with 16.8% testing positivity. The intensive care unit (ICU) availability four weeks ago in the county 38.4%, it dropped to just below 15% on December 24, and on January 5 it decreased to 0%

These metrics are anticipated to get worse until at least the end of January mainly due to resident's holiday travel and gatherings.

The occupations that continue to be the most affected according to contact tracing are retired/unemployed residents, people under 18 years of age, and people who work in clerical/administrative settings.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) projects the county's data will not meet the criteria to move out of the lockdown order in the next four weeks.

PHF is offering 1,173 COVID-19 tests per day at various sites throughout the county. There is a walk-up, no appointment needed test in Isla Vista available on Fridays and Saturdays as well as a mobile testing unit at the CenCal Health parking lot. (Click here for more information on testing)

PHD has received 2,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses and administered 40% of these in three days. Community providers, including hospitals and clinics, received 13,975 vaccine doses and administered 53% within three weeks. 

Those who have questions about the vaccine and if they are eligible are urged to call 2-1-1 where they will be referred to a public health representative. 

On Tuesday evening PHD reported 470 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths. 

Seven individuals were 70+ years of age and one was between 50-69 years of age.  Six had underlying medical issues and three deaths were associated with an outbreak at congregate facilities.

Three individuals resided in Santa Maria, one in South County Unincorporated, one in Santa Barbara, one in Lompoc, one in Orcutt, and one in North County Unincorporated.

There have been 207 total deaths.

There are currently 2,895 active cases with 211 people in the hospital, including 57 in the ICU.

More information can be found at

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MountainMan4865 Jan 12, 2021 10:12 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

I just want it to be known, that I am so ridiculously thankful for edhat to continue communal dialog. I watched it being shut down on other sites - the Independent, Noozhawk. This is the last community, truly community site for conversation and I am grateful for that.

SBTownie Jan 13, 2021 09:20 AM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

Newsflash: Family members in Orange County over 65 are being vaccinated THIS WEEK. They do not work in healthcare, one does have pre-existing condition but it is NOT a requirement for vaccine. What is going on here?! I just visited the county health website and it states they will START on over 75s in FEBRUARY? What are our local bureaucracies doing? Why are we so behind? Every article I read and press conference is a big pat on the back to everyone yet here we are weeks or months behind other regions nearby who are moving ahead with mass vaccinations? We need to demand action, answers, and accountability!!!

PitMix Jan 13, 2021 11:32 AM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

Newsflash, saying they are "eligible" doesn't mean they can actually get it. They don't have enough right now to give to everyone over 65. But it sure got you fired up to attack our officials. From LA Times:
“The county’s three existing POD [point of distribution] sites were overwhelmed by individuals without appointments today, effectively shutting down the vaccination sites. It is critical for people to understand that appointment slots are available based on VACCINE AVAILABILITY. Showing up without an appointment stresses the system and depletes SCARCE resources,” the healthcare agency said in a statement.

SBTownie Jan 13, 2021 12:20 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

Pit, these people have scheduled appointments THIS FRIDAY. It's happening. This is real. They are vaccinating people over 65 in OC right now. Two different family members were able to get appointments, as were their friends.

LCP112233 Jan 13, 2021 12:58 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

Because our County is run by a bunch of bozos. There are many states and counties across the country that are rolling out the vaccine in record time with websites that clearly state how to go about getting a vaccine.

PitMix Jan 13, 2021 02:29 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

SBTownie, so the 2 people (and their friends, unknown number) you know that got appointments "trumps" the news that the published article that says the sites were inundated with people without appointments and therefore couldn't get vaccinated? That is some sharp thinking. Eyeroll.

SBTownie Jan 13, 2021 02:34 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

Cool story, Pit. Los Angeles also struggled in the first few days of the previous phase and got things figured out within 1-2 days. You're fixated on the wrong thing. My question is why our county hasn't even started rolling out the option to people over 65 and ALL medical workers. I know medical workers here in SB who are STILL waiting because they're part of some lesser tier within phase 1. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country... more and more people are being vaccinated and we're patting ourselves on the back for vaccinating 600 people last week. At that rate, we'll be finishing up our 2-dose vaccines about 28 years from now. Why are you so antagonistic to anyone suggesting our local government may be anything less than perfect? Is it not citizens' jobs to keep government on its toes and to demand answers? The leeway you grant our overlords while decrying anyone who dares challenge authority or list its failures is truly astounding.

Voice of Reason Jan 13, 2021 02:46 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

100% SBTownie, they work for us! "Is it not citizens' jobs to keep government on its toes and to demand answers? The leeway you grant our overlords while decrying anyone who dares challenge authority or list its failures is truly astounding."

sandy1 Jan 13, 2021 05:36 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

SACRAMENTO — California officials on Wednesday announced a major expansion of vaccination eligibility guidelines, allowing all residents 65 and older to more quickly qualify for COVID-19 vaccinations in response to new guidance from the Trump administration aimed at speeding up vaccine rollouts across the country.
The move signals a fresh urgency to increase access to the vaccine amid surging caseloads. Officials in Orange County were the first to adopt the new rules on Tuesday. Todays Presidential EO has also authorized the immediate distribution of "All" available stockpiled / warehoused doses of vaccine ! YAY !

shorebird Jan 13, 2021 10:56 AM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

Sorry that i didn’t keep the links but I have been reading that a couple of factors are now emerging about covid 19 infected patients.
People with low Vitamin D levels seem to be more susceptible. As we age, even if we spend a lot of time outdoors our ability to convert sunlight into vitamin D wanes. Vitamin D is available over the counter.
There seems to be an minor overlap between the mumps virus and Covid. The vast majority of kids have had the MMP vaccine and students get a booster late in their school years. Perhaps this is why even if they do get covid they have mild or symptomless case but are still able to infect others. MMP vaccine is widely available for adults at local pharmacies.
These are 2, relatively easy, self care strategies that people might consider to lower their risk of Covid bad outcomes.

mesarez Jan 13, 2021 11:26 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

I wonder if the category of “unemployed” includes anyone currently collecting unemployment.
If this is true, then there you go. Anyone who has lost a certain amount of hours or wages due to covid has been eligible to collect unemployment since March. This includes self employed, independent contractors and even part time employees.
I’d venture to say this covers a large portion of Santa Barbara’s population and thus the reason covid is so high in this group.
The elderly? Several large nursing facilities had Covid outbreaks with one after the next testing positive. The elderly are also susceptible. We almost could have expected this to be a group with high numbers.

mesarez Jan 13, 2021 11:37 PM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

@ chemsuperfreak - you don’t answer any demographics because you have not tested positive.
If you had, like myself, you would know those demographics are gathered by the CDC when they contact every positive patient to follow up.
If you are really not sure then don’t post. It’s misinformation, miscommunication and guidelines that are unclear which has caused much confusion among healthcare workers and those seeking testing, trying to understand their isolation requirements and so forth. Rumors = Uncertainty. In uncertain times all we really want is the truth.

PitMix Jan 14, 2021 07:36 AM
Public Health Claims COVID-19 Case Increase is "Astronomical"

If there is not a link associated with a post asserting facts and data, then I just figure it is entertainment. I really enjoy some of the crazy things people say. It's a good reminder about how we got to where we are.


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