Public Health Focuses on Isla Vista and Announces Four School Reopenings
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is focusing on reducing COVID-19 cases in Isla Vista and announced four school reopenings during Friday's press conference.
PHD is taking a "proactive approach" to reduce viral transmission in the densely populated student laden community next to UC Santa Barbara (UCSB), said Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg.
The university, its student health department, PHD, and other community partner organizations have banded together to educate students and residents on how to reduce the risk for contracting the contagious virus. Testing has also increased and moved to the Goleta Community Center making it more accessible to Isla Vista residents. Hotel rooms are also provided for safe isolation and quarantine if needed.
PHD Director Van Do-Reynoso confirmed that social gatherings continue to be an issue for spreading the virus in the community. In August the county's contact tracers discovered a wide range of gatherings at beaches, lakes, bars/restaurants, birthday celebrations, funerals, and other social events continue to be the most significant factor of transmission.
Dr. Ansorg confirmed that as of Friday, four local schools were approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to reopen as soon as September 8. The four schools are:
- Howard Carden School, Carpinteria
- The Knox School, Santa Barbara
- Laguna Blanca, Santa Barbara
- Waldorf School, Goleta
In total, twenty applications have been accepted by PHD so far. Four are currently at CDPH for review and the remaining twelve are still being reviewed by PHD. None of the applications have been rejected thus far.
PHD reported 64 new cases on Friday bringing the county's grand total to 8,361. Of those, 224 cases remain active or infectious.
There are currently 39 hospitalizations including 16 in the intensive care unit (ICU).
On Tuesday, the state is expected to release the county's tier assignment from August 23-29, due to the seven day lag in calculations.
Do-Reynoso said the county's case rates are decreasing but not sufficiently. The daily case rates should be around 32 to help the county move into the next tier.
More data can be viewed here: https://publichealthsbc.org/status-reports/