Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working
PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso
By edhat staff
The Public Health Department states data suggests physical distancing and public health directives have slowed the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso gave a COVID-19 update to the Board of Supervisors on Monday morning.
Dr. Do-Reynoso provided graphs showing the hospitalization rate including the intensive care unit (ICU) patients. The number of ICU patients continues to hover around 18. Regarding the ages of each confirmed case, the data shows a good spread throughout each age group which Dr. Do-Reynoso stated the sentiment that COVID-19 only affects older people is not accurate. The graph shows 40% of COVID-19 cases in the county are between ages 50-69, 35% are ages 30-49, and 14% are ages 18-29.
Los Angeles County has released a new model projecting the infection rate this summer, which PHD has been reviewing. According to the model, if current social distancing methods were reduced to pre-order levels, 95.6% of Los Angeles County residents will have been infected by August 1. If the social distancing methods are maintained, 29.8% will be infected and if the current levels are increased, only 5.5% of residents will be infected.
The main takeaway from the current data and projected modeling remains the same, social distancing works and is working in conjunction with the public health directives. The reduction in physical distancing behavior may lead to rapid increases in cases and high demand for hospital services beyond the current capacity.
Dr. Do-Reynoso stated the current Executive Order by California Governor Gavin Newsom was issued on March 19 and is in effect until further notice. Under that order, the local government can be more restrictive, but it cannot be less restrictive.
Staying at home and practicing physical or social distancing will allow the local hospital system to remain intact and to provide services to all who need advanced level of care.
More information on individual COVID-19 cases can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/dashboard/