Public Health Confirms 24 Coronavirus Cases in Santa Barbara County
Sheriff Bill Brown and ASL interpreter Mala Poe
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara County Public Health announces 24 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) as Sheriff Bill Brown states a decrease in overall crime during Tuesday's press conference.
The Public Health Department (PHD) previously reported 18 cases on Sunday. The 6 new cases range between ages 22 and 59 with four located in south county and two in north county. Currently, the 24 cases include 4 patients who have fully recovered, 19 patients recovering at home, and 1 patient requiring hospitalization.
PHD Deputy Director Paige Batson stated as transmission becomes more widespread the disease containment will move toward mitigation and PHD will prioritize and focus on individuals who have had exposure in congregate settings such as skilled nursing facilities and shelters.
"Anticipate seeing a significant rise in cases for days or weeks to come. Our actions today will dictate how slowly or quickly this virus will travel in our community," said Dr. Henning Ansorg. He continued to state its best to assume the virus is in your community and you're at risk, so stay at home.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown provided statistics on an overall decrease in jail bookings during the executive order for residents to shelter in place and commended the community's great success in complying with orders.
This past weekend, law enforcement calls were down by 28% compared to one month ago, emergency medical services calls were down by 10%, and jail bookings were down by 67%, said Brown. Although he did state there was an uptick in domestic disturbances, but that was to be expected as some people "don't get along."
Brown also stated most businesses are complying with closure or new guidelines as the goal for deputies is to be "long on discretion, short on enforcement" in regards to executive orders. Although, he warned anyone engaging in price gouging, burglarizing closed businesses, or taking advantage of people during this time will be brought to justice. Frequent violators of the shelter in place order could potentially be charged with a misdemeanor and in certain cases jailed, he stated.
The County Jail was previously engaged in an early release program prior to the COVID-19 orders. The jail is currently housing 766 inmates, the lowest population since Brown's 13 years as Sheriff. It's required that inmates serve one-third of their sentence before their released and they must have a low likelihood of reoffending before they qualify for an early 30 day release. Approximately 3-4% of inmates of have been released early, said Brown.
The full press conference is available below: