Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

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Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening
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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.

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lss May 05, 2020 09:27 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

First, those stores are not really opening if only curbside pickup is allowed. If you can't go inside a sporting goods store to shop, I doubt many people will bother. Second, since their criteria is so nebulous, I doubt we are any closer to reopening the economy regardless of the misleading headline.

We are watching Rome (Santa Barbara) burn.

macpuzl May 05, 2020 09:31 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

How drama queen. We have relatively loose restrictions, nothing close to a lockdown, and nothing approaching the disruptions to everyday life and the economy caused by WWII.

a-1588746271 May 05, 2020 11:24 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

People need to remember or realize something. They aren't preparing to re-open b/c risk is low, they are preparing to re-open b/c they now have enough beds, ventilators and the like to accommodate those who contract this and need hospitalization and/or ventilators. That's the point. If however the numbers really spike threatening the medical establishments ability to treat the sick appropriately they will issue another lockdown so be smart.

ChemicalSuperFreak May 05, 2020 11:33 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

11:24 PM: Exactly. It's a slow bleed to build herd immunity without overwhelming the health care system. It's like bleeding pressure on a pressure cooker. A little at a time. I'm fine with that. We only have about 0.3% infected, with 100 times of infection to go before we get to the minimum for HIT. Vulnerable people will still have to shelter and all the protocols for social distancing and mask wearing will remain as that happens. The only issue is that there are several mutants of SARS-CoV-2, and if the east coast variant makes it here, there's a chance that those who recovered from the west coast (original Wuhan) version will be come re-infected. There's a mutation in the spike protein (D614G) that is evolving to become predominant and highly contagious.

lutra May 06, 2020 09:18 AM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

According to this LA Times article (https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/mutant-coronavirus-has-emerged-more-contagious-than-original), the mutated strain is already on the west coast, in Washington state. If it's in WA, it's likely in CA also, but I haven't read about tests confirming that.

ChemicalSuperFreak May 06, 2020 01:36 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

9:41 AM: If SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve to evade our immune systems, then it will become endemic, like influenza, and you'd expect to see it seasonally. Generally, when viruses become endemic they also become less deadly, so the mortality would decrease over time and we'd just live with it like we do the flu and common cold.

Bene May 06, 2020 02:17 AM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

I'm sorry for small businesses that have lost money in the shutdown. But they would lose money whether there was a shutdown mandate or not. That is because, according to polls, there is a rather large percentage of people who choose to avoid going into certain types of businesses out of fear for themselves and loved ones. The virus itself should be the main target of blame, not legislators who listen to scientists who know best how to prevent escalation of suffering and death. Eventually, businesses who can restructure to allow social distancing and protective measures could be able to make a living as before.

giftedinSB May 06, 2020 08:57 AM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

Businesses would have lost a lot less revenue if they had been able to remain open. If we are now allowing certain retailers to re-open with curbside pickup, why couldn't we have done that from the beginning?

Sam The Dog May 06, 2020 09:37 AM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

Our country is full of very resourceful entrepreneurs. Saying you can open but with tight restrictions like curb-side pickup would have enabled these very resourceful and creative businesses people to figure out a way to make it work. Not only would it have brought in some income for them, it would have given them hope and a fighting chance. Shutting everything destroyed their business and morale.

DBD May 06, 2020 01:22 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

Bene- that may be true for business' open to the public, but keep in mind this shutdown affected business many business' not open to the public as well, such as manufacturing.

Bene May 06, 2020 04:32 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

DBD, you are right, and I actually realized as soon as I posted this that I had been remiss in not qualifying my statements. Clearly some types of businesses would very likely be voluntarily avoided by most people, whereas others not so much. And of course manufacturing another case entirely.

420722 May 06, 2020 04:59 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

Yes STD and now many people aren’t even going to have a store to open up. They lost everything over the last two months and “curbside” wouldn't be enough at this point. Also like LSS says, many stores will be avoided if we can’t go in to purchase item. If we’ve learned one thing from covid, we can never shut everything down again. Why not limit the amount of customers in each store at one time like the grocery stores are doing. If it works there I’m sure it can work anywhere.

a-1588783531 May 06, 2020 09:45 AM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

What do people not understand about the fact that this is a NOVEL virus? They had no idea how it would impact us - it is a bat virus, grew over time in dark caves in china and the was harvested for study - bat's have very different systems than we do - we are completely vulnerable to this freak virus that never should have been allowed to escape - even now they are reporting strange things like COVID toes, blood clots and the like - so put your blame where it belongs and not on the people in this country who are trying their best to navigate this with the least risk and death to the general public.

macpuzl May 06, 2020 01:51 PM
Santa Barbara County Officials Prepare for Reopening

Some potential futures for the pandemic:
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https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/01/three-potential-futures-for-covid-19/

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