Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings title=
PHD Director Van Do-Reynoso during Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting
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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) reports the majority of COVID-19 cases are 20-year-olds and agricultural workers are disproportionately affected by the virus.

PHD reported its findings to the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning. Director Van Do-Reynoso stated 8,199 COVID-19 cases were recorded within the county from March through September. The summer months saw a wave of cases as the case rate and testing positivity peaked in July. She stated it may be associated with reopening business sectors and the summer holidays.

The majority of positive cases were attributed to working adults in the 18-29 and 30-49 age groups. Broken down further into ten-year sections, 20-29-year-olds had the highest number of cases followed by 30-39-year-olds. The age group of 0-9 had the least amount. 

The Hispanic/Latinx community has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 within the county as they represent 48% of the total population yet 65% of all COVID-19 cases, 75% of hospitalizations, and 55% of associated deaths. Compared to the white community who represents 43% of the population and just 9% of COVID-19 cases, 19% of hospitalizations, and 39% of deaths, although many of the deaths in this category are due to skilled nursing facilities being highly impacted, said Do-Reynoso. 

The most common occupation for those who contracted the virus are agricultural workers. There were nine COVID-19 outbreaks associated with agricultural worker communities. PHD works closely with this population to contain the spread and initiated programs such as Housing for Harvest to safely isolate and quarantine those who test positive, said Do-Reynoso. The next highly affected occupations are other frontline workers such as laborers, healthcare employees, and those in the restaurant/bar/food prep industry.

Focusing on the location of infection rates, the unincorporated areas of north county topped the list with the City of Santa Maria not far behind. The majority of overall transmissions were due to close contact, meaning gatherings and parties. 

Do-Reynoso stated PHD plans to partner with employment sectors and post-secondary schools to mitigate the spread of disease among 20-year-olds as well as increase prevention messaging. They will continue to monitor the health needs and risks among the senior population. They will also partner with the most affected employment sectors to slow the spread of infection by providing support to those who need to isolate/quarantine as well as reinforce social distancing and mask-wearing messages in these job sectors.

As of Tuesday, the county remains in the red "substantial tier" with an average of 4.2 adjusted case rate, 2.4% positivity rate, and 5% health equity metric. The average case rate needs to lower to 3.9 for the county to be considered for the next lowest orange "moderate tier."

Being in the red tier for 14 days means K-12 schools can now re-open for in-person learning. The state has also issued guidance on allowing for some private gathering however, PHD Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg will continue to prohibit this behavior for the next two weeks to continue the decrease in cases and testing positivity rates.

The most current numbers can be found at

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PitMix Oct 14, 2020 03:19 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Uh-oh, the downvote feature is working again. This is where the Trumpsters on the site get to downvote anyone that tries to point out the weaknesses in their arguments. Is this really a feature that makes Edhat a better site?

Ahchooo Oct 14, 2020 01:26 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

We must consider not just the deaths, but also the people who survive with significant long term health problems due to the disease. I don’t have stats on that, but anecdotally it is nothing to sneeze at.

PitMix Oct 14, 2020 03:12 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

LA Times reported on $16 Trillion of losses from pandemic, more than $1T from ongoing health problems from people that survived. More losses than our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Study published in JAMA by Cutler and Summers.

pstarSR Oct 14, 2020 11:46 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Still sitting here bickering about if this virus is "real or "deadly"? like one commentor said ( and I am sorry for your loss ) that until it affects you, you will continue to see it as a "non-issue" or affects "virtually nobody". Except 200,000+ dead people. Doing your own research is good and fine, doing that research does NOT mean you debunk or remove other research done. Seriously people have to take a step back and look at how this is being portrayed. the people fighting AGAINST the fact that this virus is real and deadly are basically saying they dont care about anyone else but themselves. its like a poster stapled to their forehead. I dont want anything to do with you all, all the people playing games with numbers, those numbers are peoples lives. disgusting.

bosco Oct 14, 2020 01:31 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

PSTARSR. I think you're missing the point of the debate. No one here is arguing about whether it's real or deadly? For the most part, many of us who disagree with you very much understand the reality of the virus and the impact it has on people. However, we're not looking at from an individual perspective. We are looking at it from a broader community perspective. What is the impact of the pandemic vs. the cost of the restrictions? I don't want to speak for others, but we're not advocating we go back to normal, not wear masks, not socially distance etc. However, we have to find a balance between maintaining our most critical elements of society/economy functioning and preventing a truly impactful healthcare crisis. On one side of the argument, you look at every death as preventable and tragic, see COVID as the back plague blanketing our community (I would argue that is narrow perspective of opinion), on the other side I see the virus as unstoppable and something that will be with us for a long time, something we have to accept and find a way to live with. It comes down to differences in risk tolerance. It's not about ignorance, or lacking factual knowledge, or ideology, or lacking compassion and sympathy. It's simply that we believe, for the better of our society and community, we have to accept a certain level of risk and apply this risk in a smart and practical way.

biguglystick Oct 14, 2020 12:11 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

PSTARSR, Thank you, I could not have said it any better. It's very selfish, ignorant and rude to go out into public and not wear a mask. I just cannot understand people today. It might make me sound old, but truly... this is a mess.

biguglystick Oct 14, 2020 12:09 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

PITMIX, I agree, I took a walk down to the area where Brophy's is for an evening stroll... I was shocked and apalled at the sheer number of people cramming into small areas, many of them NOT wearing masks (most of them, actually). I won't be going back there for a while. Why do people act like this isn't a thing anymore? It's still here among us. Not to be fearful, but DO have a brain and protect yourself and others. Sheesh.

dukemunson Oct 14, 2020 03:25 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

As you yourself said (and yes literally every expert agrees with) is the total number of infections are quite a bit higher (last I read a factor of 10 was the working thought). As such dr fauci (and virtually all other health experts) are going with a .6 to .65% fatality rate. I think you know that though... so why the warped numbers?

dukemunson Oct 14, 2020 11:28 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Pit mix- You are not computing that correctly. The accepted mortality rate for Covid is roughly .6%. That’s obviously a pretty big number... but nowhere near 3%. Please stop spreading that obviously false number. We do a service to no one when we claim Covid is the same as the flu, or on the other side that it’s 5 times as lethal as it is. Both extreme positions are false, dumb and dangerous.

PitMix Oct 14, 2020 10:56 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Mortality rate is about 3% , based on number of deaths (undercounted by 30-50%) and number of infections (undercounted by who knows how much)? The thing that makes covid entirely different than those other diseases which are ongoing and routine, is that it is a new ADDITIONAL mortality factor in our society. 3,000 people died on 9/11 and we went into a tizzy. But somehow 215,000 people is an occasion for celebrating?

LCP112233 Oct 14, 2020 10:12 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Am I right to presume that the JHU figure of 215,887 would also include some of the other causes of death due to co-morbidity? These other diseases would make a person extra vulnerable to die if they contacted covid.

a-1602695182 Oct 14, 2020 10:06 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

CDC nails jello to the wall again about the effectiveness of masks: ...." OCTOBER 12, 2020 By Jordan Davidson
A Centers for Disease Control report released in September shows that masks and face coverings are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, even for those people who consistently wear them.

A study conducted in the United States in July found that when they compared 154 “case-patients,” who tested positive for COVID-19, to a control group of 160 participants from the same health care facility who were symptomatic but tested negative, over 70 percent of the case-patients were contaminated with the virus and fell ill despite “always” wearing a mask....."

HOUSER01 Oct 14, 2020 09:40 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Wow how astute of you! You've listed a bunch of ways people die, (except you forgot old age!) Most from the list above are not preventable from a public health and policy stand point, such as social distancing and simply wearing a mask. 230,000+ people die every month in the US, so why care about another half million who will have died of covid, right? And never mind the fact that many of the above illnesses are exacerbated from Covid.

comment1 Oct 14, 2020 08:50 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

I dear friend if mine passed away night before last after being in the hospital for 3 weeks with Covid-19, you know the TrumpVirus. She was on a ventilator at the time. Until you know someone personally, to you it’s a big nothing. Go find some compassion and empathy somewhere; you need to find your humanity.

Ahchooo Oct 14, 2020 08:26 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

You have only to look at “excess death” numbers to see that deaths from other causes are *not* being roped in or attributed to deaths by Covid. If many more people have died than usual this year, and at least that many had severe Covid, you will see confirmation that the Covid death statistics are accurate. If anything, the Covid deaths are understated.

MountainMan4865 Oct 13, 2020 10:56 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings or if you just want to look at California - In 2015 Diseases of the heart 61,289 deaths. Malignant Neoplasms 58,629 deaths. Alzheimer's Disease - 15,065 deaths. Cerebrovascular diseases - 15,065 deaths. Influenza and Pneumonia (which they used to use to get you to get a flu vaccine, but have now lumped in to the Covid #'s (PI, now PIC) - 6,188 deaths. (Would have been much higher this year if they hadn't stopped tracking in March). This does not take into account how many Alzheimer's, motorcycle accidents, alcohol overdoses, hospice cases, etc. are being roped into the Covid count... because there are a lot - the majority actually. Do your own research. Question everything, and don't accept what is conveniently placed in your glowing rectangle. All the news you read is delivered to you by a fingerfull of corporations that are all working toward the same goal. The company that owns FOX News, also owns National Geographic.... And your local television station(s).

a-1602650404 Oct 13, 2020 09:40 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Statistics from the CDC:

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
Heart disease: 647,457
Cancer: 599,108
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
Diabetes: 83,564
Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 50,633
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

Statistic from Johns Hopkins University:
COVID-19: 215,887

Byzantium Oct 13, 2020 09:08 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Americans in some states (NY and NJ) and some cities (LA) are doing poorly in their death counts, but the rest of the US is looking as good as most other places. Time to stop talking about US numbers and break it down to the individual states and cities that are dragging the rest of us down. California is similar to Canada in outcomes, except for the disaster in Los Angeles County, which is way out of proportion to any other county in this state.

macpuzl Oct 13, 2020 08:59 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

That's blatant misinformation.

bosco Oct 14, 2020 12:03 PM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

Chemical: I always appreciate your breakdowns. You're right the numbers are not clearly defined. I have stopped trying to understand how they're calculated but glad you went through the effort. At this point, I would argue that as long as they're applying the same factors across all counties it shouldn't make a difference. What's important is how accurate are their metrics in measuring risk of major outbreak. I have continued to argue that I believe the tiers are set too low and we should be willing to accept a higher community spread. If the ultimate goal is to prevent an out of control outbreak which overwhelms the local healthcare system (which should be the singular goal) what is the metric threshold we need to hold? Is <7.0 safe? why not 10 or 20? If I recall in July we were in the 20 - 25 range and our healthcare system managed through it successfully.

ChemicalSuperFreak Oct 14, 2020 12:29 AM
Public Health Provides Quarterly COVID-19 Report Findings

There's a lot they are not telling you. I've been calculating the numbers they've been releasing, and I always get different final values for positivity rate and case rate. Today, I finally found out why. For instance, I have a positivity rate of 5.1%, but they list it as 2.4%. Then I went to the state's website to see if they finally released how they're getting these numbers ( Regarding positivity rate, "this excludes tests for: (a) persons out of state or with unknown county of residence and (b) persons incarcerated at state or federal prisons, ICE facilities, and state hospitals (identified as cases with an ordering facility name or address associated with prison/state hospitals locations). " I obviously removed FCI Lompoc numbers from my calculations, which really doesn't matter anymore since this is a 7-day average and the lockup stopped having significant impact on our numbers months ago. So it sounds like many of the cases that I've been factoring in are being thrown out by government agencies for the aforementioned reasons. The articles states that "Hispanic/Latinx community has been disproportionately affected...The most common occupation for those who contracted the virus are agricultural workers." Why not count them just because they may be temporary residents? These people are not in the FCI; they live and work among us. Why not count them, particularly since they seem to be the ones most at risk? Now I know why my numbers are off, and it's very concerning. Lastly, just satisfy yourself by doint a quick calculation for yourself. The State of CA Excel numbers show the same SB County population number I got when I called the SBPHD: 456,373 persons. Just reverse their calculation. Take the case rate number (unadjusted = 4.3), divide by 100,000 and then multiply by 456,373. The answer is 19.6 and is supposedly the 7-day average of new cases per day from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3. Go look up those 7 days on our counties webpage, add up the daily numbers and divide by 7 and you'll see that average is actually 28. 19.2 is not 28. They're tossing out about a third of the positive cases.

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