Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening
Dr. Do-Reynoso giving a presentation
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) officials are confident the county will be ready for the next phase of reopening.
During the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso stated the amount of planning and preparation since the COVID-19 pandemic hit has left the county in a good position for the next phase of reopening.
Governor Newsom announced Monday the state will move towards Phase Two to ease stay at home restrictions where low-risk businesses will be able to reopen as soon as Friday. He stated retail stores such as florists, bookstores, and sporting good stores would be able to reopen with curbside delivery/pickup and other restrictions.
Shopping malls, seated dining, and office buildings will not be eligible to reopen just yet. More details on eligible businesses and their requirements will be released on Thursday by the Governor's office.
Dr. Do-Reynoso stated 77% of all positive COVID-19 cases have recovered in the county and that the number of active cases is steadily declining in the last 14-day period. The number of positive tests is around 10%, PHD's goal is to further decrease that number.
"Knowing what we know today, without the guidelines being revealed, I think our data puts us in a ready state," she said. "I think there are elements of the containment piece that we need to strengthen, but I think we're in a good spot."
The elements that need strengthening referred to total cases, hospitalization rates, intensive care unite (ICU) rates, and healthcare worker infections. However, testing results, hospital capacity, contact tracing, and PPE are above the needed threshold.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 526 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, 114 of them were active including 39 hospitalizations. There have been over 5,000 tests issues throughout the county. More testing capabilities opened up today with a community testing in Santa Maria and two more expected in Santa Barbara and Lompoc.
Dr. Do-Reynoso confirmed Santa Barbara is working closing with Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties as many residents reside in one county and work in the other. All three counties are sharing data and resources to more effectively collaborate on a timeline to reopen.
An updated report will be presented to the Board of Supervisors next Tuesday.