Thursday Update: 451 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) reports an additional 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county today. The total number of confirmed cases is 451.
Of the 11 new cases, two are persons who are incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc and part of the identified outbreak. More information about the ages and locations of each case can be found here.
One hundred thirty-eight (138) people are recovering at home, Thirty-nine (39) are recovering in a hospital, thirteen (13) of whom are in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), two hundred fifty-seven (257) have fully recovered, and twelve (12) are pending an update. Five (5) deaths have been reported.
Of the total 451 cases, 57 are healthcare workers.
SLO and Ventura Counties
San Luis Obispo County is reporting 149 total confirmed cases. Of the total, 119 have fully recovered, 28 are recovering at home, 1 person is hospitalized in the ICU, and there has been 1 death.
As of Thursday, Ventura is reporting 14 new cases for a total of 465. Of the total, 245 have fully recovered, 26 are in the hospital with 7 in the ICU, and there have been 16 deaths.
The latest death is reported as a 37-year-old male died as the result of a drug overdose with COVID-19 infection as significant comorbidity and contributing condition.
Residents who visit County of Ventura-managed beaches are urged to follow guidelines outlined in the Stay Well At Home Order issued by County of Ventura Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin.
Kiddie Beach, Silver Strand Beach and Hollywood Beach, managed by the Ventura County Harbor Department, have remained open for outdoor activity to afford residents relief. Residents are encouraged to use the beaches for essential physical activity such as walking, running, and jogging, while practicing social distancing guidelines. Beach visitors are not allowed to gather with groups on the beach outside their household.
“Ventura County residents should be proud of their efforts during this time and we want to make sure we continue to flatten the curve,” said Mark Sandoval, Harbor Department Director. “Practicing social distancing guidelines, particularly at the beach, is important. Not following these guidelines may result in our County-managed beaches being shut down for the foreseeable future.”
Director Sandoval said the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department will increase patrolling of the three beaches to ensure guidelines are being met.
Parking lots and bathrooms at the three beaches will remain closed.
Please check in with your City to learn about guidelines for your area. All beaches have parking lots and bathrooms closed.
Cottage Health Partners with Vitalant for Blood Plasma
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and the Cottage Health Research Institute (CHRI) have partnered with Vitalant in Santa Barbara to use blood plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 to help those who are fighting the illness. Known as “convalescent plasma,” this blood component contains antibodies that may give hospital patients an extra boost in their recovery.
CHRI led the efforts for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital to become an approved site for the Multiple Patient Expanded Access protocol with Mayo Clinic for convalescent plasma treatment. Currently, three patients have received convalescent plasma transfusion as part of this emergency investigational new drug research.
Currently, there are no vaccines or proven treatments for COVID-19 because the virus is so new. Although trials for a vaccine are underway, it is expected to be many months before one is approved. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified and approved convalescent plasma treatment as an emergency investigational new drug. It is currently the only antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients and, as such, is a promising new tool.
This form of investigational treatment may give the body more fight against COVID-19 by using antibodies that are active against the disease. Cottage and Vitalant are gearing up to help patients fight this novel infectious disease with the help of willing recovered COVID-19 patients.
“Convalescent plasma is an exciting option for patients, especially as we struggle to find effective medications for those with severe COVID-19,” said Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons, Chair of Division of Infectious Disease, Medical Education Director of Quality and Research, and Chair of the Institutional Review Board at Cottage Health.
“With this treatment, we hope to harness the wisdom of the immune system from those who have successfully beaten this disease, and use this wisdom, in the form of antibodies, to help the next patient suffering from this infection,” Dr. Fitzgibbons added. “I’m so grateful for the kindness of our wonderful donors, who in the wake of their own illness are offering to help those currently experiencing the severe forms of this disease.”
Vitalant is seeking convalescent plasma donors to help patients. Eligibility criteria are:
- Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test
- Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days
- Meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma
Even with these requirements, there may be additional tests or other criteria required. In some instances, those who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to donate, even if they did not have an initial laboratory test. Those who meet that criteria and want to donate plasma are encouraged to apply through the Vitalant website Vitalant.org/covidfree. For more information, please call
Vitalant will only accept donors who meet all FDA-required donor eligibility criteria and are symptom-free for at least 14 days. Potential donors can only donate if they have applied and have been accepted to the program. Donors cannot walk in for this procedure; they must first fill out the form at Vitalant.org/covidfree to begin the application process. Potential donors will then be contacted by Vitalant.