On Friday, Santa Barbara County announced 13 new cases of COVID-19, none of which came from the federal prison complex in Lompoc.
The new cases now bring the county’s total to 1,649.
Of the total cases, 28 people are recovering in a hospital, with nine in the Intensive Care Unit, while 88 are recovering at home.
There remains only 12 deaths in the county, most of which come from Santa Maria with three.
However, earlier this week a third death at the Federal Prison Complex in Lompoc was announced by the Bureau of Prisons, the federal department that operates the Lompoc facilities.
Additional information came out Friday, reporting that the passing was of 37-year-old Mohamed Yusuf. Mr. Yusuf was found unresponsive on Monday at the Federal Correctional Institute Lompoc.
Responding staff members rushed to attempt to save his life, but proved to be unsuccessful.
Mr. Yusuf tested positive for COVID-19 on May 7 and was placed in isolation. He was in custody since May 2018 and was serving a 132-month sentence for conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
To date, there have been 1,497 cases of recovery in the community total, including 960 from the Federal Prison Complex in Lompoc.
According to the county, there are 971 total confirmed cases in the prison system in Lompoc, nine of which are still active.
According to the Bureau of Prisons, there are 47 active cases in the Lompoc facilities.
At the Federal Correctional Institute Lompoc, 14 inmates and eight staff members have tested positive. At the U.S. Penitentiary Lompoc, 15 inmates and 10 staff members have tested positive.
To date, 1,037 inmates have recovered, including 886 in the Federal Correctional Institute, as well as 24 staffers from both locations combined.
In response to the situation at the Lompoc prison complex, on Friday, three California legislators penned their third letter to Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal, which emphasizes the need for open lines of communication.
The letter was sent in response to the third reported death at the Lompoc prison complex.
Additionally, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, and U.S. senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both D-California, the lawmakers who wrote the letter, urged the BOP to heed best practices to contain further spread of the virus.
“We are troubled the BOP did not take swift action to test the inmate population, isolate those who tested positive for the virus, and effectively curb the spread of COVID-19,” wrote the lawmakers.
“We are also disturbed that it took the BOP over four weeks to arrange for alternative housing options for its correctional officers and law enforcement personnel and has not moved forward with measures to test all inmates within the USP at Lompoc for COVID-19.”
The previous two letters were sent on April 15 and April 21 with a response coming on May 7.
Of the response, the legislators said they were “appreciative” but “While some progress has been made, more action is required.”
Around the county, Santa Barbara Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said communities have seen a lot of change over the past week with countless businesses reopening.
But he noted there needs to be a pause in any further action.
“At this point, I strongly believe we need to pause for another week or two in order to assess the impact of these newly opened activities on the spread of the virus in our area. Once we are assured that the numbers are not going up, we will be able to assess how far into the next stage of reopening we’re able to go safely,” Dr. Ansorg said. “Please be patient and responsible.”
Finally, Cottage Health issued an update to its numbers on Friday, revealing that it is caring for a total of 221 patients across all campuses.
- 168 are acute care patients; 205 acute care beds remain available.
- In surge planning, capacity is identified for adding 270 acute care beds.
- Of the 168 patients, 8 are on ventilators and now 69 remain available.
- A total of 12 patients are in isolation with COVID-19 symptoms, 5 of which are confirmed COVID-19 positive.
- Of the 8 in isolation, 5 are in critical care.