Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

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Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working
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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/

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a-1586802056 Apr 13, 2020 11:20 AM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

I seriously wonder how many weeks/months people can stay at home and basically go nowhere before they "break" and decide to test their luck. I've spoken to a few in the past week that say they "are over this!" Hopefully, people don't let their guard down and then it really spreads like wildfire either in SB County. We do not need to compete with the likes of NYC or Italy.

Chip of SB Apr 13, 2020 11:30 AM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Remember, distancing doesn't prevent people from getting the virus. It only delays the inevitable. People are sick and tired of isolation. Once these futile policies are abandoned, life will go back to normal and the virus will resume running its course.

SantaBarbaraObserver Apr 13, 2020 11:48 AM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Meanwhile in the northern hemisphere millions of people are wondering what the heck is wrong with all these people who cannot stay inside their homes for barely a month... You do realize that humans spend a long time indoors in many places in the world? As in many, many months... Oh never mind, this is Edhat, where stable geniuses like Chip of SB are here to proclaim that there's not thing to worry about. Thanks Chip! We're really glad you're here to let us know the truth of the matter. Let's see. Doctors, experts and scientists or Edhat commentators? Tough decision but I think I'll stick with the educated experts...

Sam The Dog Apr 13, 2020 12:10 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Chip is correct Mac. What flattening the curve does is lowers the peak but spreads out the width. Total area under the curve (infections) remains the same, just spread out over a longer period of time so as to not overwhelm the health care capacity. The only thing to keep people from getting the virus would be vaccines and herd immunity, which are not currently options. What also isn't an option is having the entire country shelter in place until a vaccine is developed.

a-1586806179 Apr 13, 2020 12:29 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

SBOBSERVER - one month is one thing, but to continue as we are through the summer will be catastrophic for businesses, the economy, education, etc. One month is easy, but another 3+ months will not be easy. I don't agree this is overreacting, but I think we should know whether it's truly working. That's why I'd like to know if people are still getting it that have been vigilant about social distancing.

a-1586807581 Apr 13, 2020 12:53 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

It's already happening. There was a party in a local coffee shop parking lot this weekend from the looks of it. Drove past and saw people with camping chairs looking like they were tailgating in the parking lot.

Luvaduck Apr 14, 2020 08:36 AM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Were they sitting away from each other at the pescribed distance or more? If so, that's a good solution to humans' need to socialize 'in person'. Those living alone are in solitary confinement. For those who are older and not tech-savvy, the isolation can lead to long term depression, mental and physical decline at a time in life when it difficult to reverse.

a-1586803227 Apr 13, 2020 11:40 AM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Are people who are socially distancing still getting the virus? I think this would be important to know. And yeah, people are going to start "losing it." We can't shut down businesses and activities for months on end with no repercussions!

a-1586805949 Apr 13, 2020 12:25 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

MAC - I said "distancing," not "isolating." Obviously, if a person is completely isolated, they won't get it. I'm talking about people who still go to the grocery store or on a walk, but keep 6 feet away and wash their hands, etc. I want to know if all this work we've been doing and events/schools/games, etc that have been cancelled has been worth it, or are people still getting the virus after practicing "safe" behavior.

a-1586806665 Apr 13, 2020 12:37 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

I think what Macpuzls is attempting to convey is that even when all the precautions have been strictly followed, not everything is perfect, and therefore we've still got new cases coming in. She is saying that by "isolating" it is better to be safe than sorry from the standpoint of health and public safety (in general).

a-1586807360 Apr 13, 2020 12:49 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

This is fully anecdotal, but one of my best friends in NYC is a very conscientious person. Self-isolating in her home for 10+ days. Had to go for grocery run. Wore a mask (not N95, cloth) and gloves to grocery store she complained was busy and 5 days later came down with what is now confirmed COVID. Boyfriend who never left the apartment is now also sick.

a-1586811374 Apr 13, 2020 01:56 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Pug, yes. Girlfriend tested positive. Boyfriend has not tested as it is presumed he has same as girlfriend as he has been isolating for 2.5 weeks in apartment. So far both are very ill but fine. They are young and in good health. Hoping for good outcome.

macpuzl Apr 13, 2020 02:17 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Anybody who thinks that social distancing isn't working, and will not continue to work, is either not paying attention, or pursuing a ridiculous, ignorant agenda.

a-1586813179 Apr 13, 2020 02:26 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

MAC - or they're thinking for themselves and questioning some of the logic behind the government's decisions. It's OK to disagree with the effectiveness of something, free country and all that.....

a-1586814332 Apr 13, 2020 02:45 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

7 men fined $1000 each for "violating shelter-in-place orders" in Santa Cruz. THIS is wrong. Look at the photo for starters...... https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/men-trip-to-Santa-Cruz-fined-violating-lockdown-15197083.php

macpuzl Apr 13, 2020 02:59 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

I'd gladly say you are free to go out and self-immolate if such actions didn't have potentially dire effects on some of your fellow citizens. It sounds like you're a rugged individualist who doesn't think anyone else matters, though.

Chip of SB Apr 13, 2020 03:09 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

You are on a slippery slope if you believe your opinions are facts and those who disregard your beneficent wisdom will have "dire effects on fellow citizens". What are you willing to do in order to bring those who refuse to obey you into line? How far will you go in order to protect your fellow citizens from individuals who dare to question authority?

a-1586815983 Apr 13, 2020 03:13 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

MAC - you know nothing about me. I've been socially distancing, working from home, helping my kids with remote school, avoiding all public places except to get groceries/food for my family and then doing so carefully and safely. If people are doing everything we've been asked and still managing to get the virus, I think we should know. We may need to take even further precautions. I don't know....but I sure would like to know! Make an effort to think for yourself before wishing others to go out sacrifice themselves.....

a-1586816081 Apr 13, 2020 03:14 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Re: the 7 men fined - why did the cops sit them down within 1-2 feet of each other and then post that photo saying they're being fined for not distancing themselves?

Chip of SB Apr 13, 2020 03:22 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Wow, that is truly frightening! I can't imagine how that could ever hold up in court. This is an abuse of power and the people must not stand for it. The right to peaceably assemble is recognized in the first amendment. There are no exceptions!

sacjon Apr 13, 2020 01:23 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

PUG - just be thankful that we don't have people like Idaho's Bundy family here. It really seems that most people in our community are taking this extremely seriously and have made many sacrifices and worked hard to do the right thing.

REX OF SB Apr 13, 2020 02:29 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

Maybe the Solstice Festival can be put off until December and we can have a Winter Solstice fête instead. Of course that would put it only a few days before Christmas (or "Holiday," or whatever they're calling it these days), but that would just add to the fun! And…do we even dare speculate on what's going to happen to Fiesta?

a-1586813519 Apr 13, 2020 02:31 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

REX - if we're still under this stay at home thing in August, I would say we'd have MUCH more to worry about than Fiesta. But yeah, cancelling Fiesta would suck for a lot of people!

a-1586817674 Apr 13, 2020 03:41 PM
Public Health Confirms Social Distancing is Working

This is a pandemic. It will last until a vaccine is available and massive immunization is done to protect the population. At the moment, there is no vaccine, little testing to know where the spread of infection is going, and no ability to quarantine individuals infected, other than to separate everyone. We are in the dark ages, literally, in our approach to this disease, using the only method available then, staying at home. This will not go away this summer, and hopefully we may return to normal in a year, but even that is unlikely without vaccine or massive testing (which is also unlikely until the administration in Washington changes).

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