In a broad-ranging presentation, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department presented two distinct models that potentially showcase what is in store for the county when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the PHD’s health director, showed the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors two models that are being used throughout the county.
The first is called the University of Washington model — which is being used by the federal government and several states — and the other is the Penn model, which the California Department of Public Health has recommended.
Both models rely on social distancing, although results are vastly different.
The Penn model is built based on 100 days worth of data, although Dr. Do-Reynoso took her bell curve out 200 days — through October — to showcase what might be necessary locally to keep the pandemic to minimal lives lost.
In this model, the more that the community practices social distancing, the more flattened the peak of the curve is — widely referred to as “flattening the curve.”
According to the presentation, if only 40-45% of county residents abide by social distancing, the number of positive COVID-19 cases will exceed the country’s healthcare system capacity, leading to a shortage of ventilators and hospital beds.
Currently, the PHD estimates that there is 50% compliance with the social-distancing guidelines.
Remaining at this number would likely allow the county to stay within capacity for hospital beds, according to Dr. Do-Reynoso.
No matter the model, a shortage of ventilators is expected, with the PHD indicating that it has requested more.
The Washington model indicates that the peak need for the county will be next week, with no hospital bed shortages. This is predicated on the county representing just 1.13% of the overall population, not diving into current conditions or policies.
Dr. Do-Reynoso indicated that she understood the ramifications for pushing out social-distancing mandates until November, saying that her model is based on those who are not practicing it currently.
“What worries me, is where there is no social distancing and the impact it has on the community in terms of severe hospitalizations, deaths and a healthcare system that is so overwhelmed that healthy people are also affected,” Dr. Do-Reynoso said.
“So, do I think that is it sustainable all the way out to November? I’m not sure, but I think as a conversation that needs to happen in a variety of contexts and variety of settings, so we as a community can land on a solution that is doable, that protects the vulnerable members of our community as well as safeguarding our healthcare system.”
Both Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam and First District Supervisor Das Williams are concerned over the economic impact of such a plan.
“. . . destroying an economy kills people, too, it does. At some level you have to work out as a policy matter where to balance this, and it is not just a realm for public health, but also a realm for the people the voters elect,” Mr. Williams said.
“My view is that if workplaces were properly equipped, if preparations were made, more people could go back to work while maintaining a certain level of social distancing, and that would be an important job for Public Health to advise employers.”
UCSB announces positive test for student in dorms
UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang sent a message to the Gaucho community indicating that a student that had returned to clear out their dorm room has tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the note, “a student who left campus on Tuesday, March 17, for spring break has reported testing positive for COVID-19. During the break, the student reported experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Following two weeks of self-quarantine and over a week with no symptoms, the student returned to campus on Friday, April 3, for about two hours in order to remove personal belongings from their room in Santa Cruz Residence Hall.”
According to the note and PHD officials, “the risk of any exposure to members of our campus community from this student’s brief visit is extremely low.”
COVID-19, by the numbers
A look at where the numbers are locally, statewide, nationally and worldwide:
- The PHD announced an additional 26 confirmed cases, bringing the overall total to 218 cases. According to the latest numbers, 120 are recovering at home, 51 have recovered, 42 are in the hospital, with 19 of those in the intensive care unit.
- In California, there are 17,620 confirmed cases, with 450 deaths.
- In the United States, there are 399,886 cases, by far tops in the world. Spain is second with 141,942, Italy third with 135,586, while France and Germany both exceeded 100,000 confirmed cases on Tuesday.
- Across the world, there are 1,431,375 confirmed cases, with 82,145 deaths. There are 301,147 that have recovered.
Cottage Health, by the numbers
Here is Cottage Health’s update from Tuesday:
- Cottage is caring for 127 patients; 246 beds remain available.
- In surge planning, capacity is identified for adding 270 acute care beds.
- Of the 127 patients, 12 patients are on ventilators; 48 ventilators remain available (adult, pediatric and neonatal ventilators)
- Of the 127 patients, 14 patients are in isolation for COVID-19 symptoms; 13 are confirmed COVID-19 positive.
- Of the 14 patients in isolation, 8 patients are in critical care.
- Cottage has collected 1,344 cumulative test samples: 101 resulted in positive, 1,157 resulted in negative, and 86 are pending
LVMC accepting donations
The Lompoc Valley Medical Center is “gratefully accepting donations of the following items to help our healthcare workers through this pandemic. The items must be unused and in original packaging, if applicable.”
Here are the items the center is looking for:
- N95 (NIOSH Approved) Masks
- Isolation gowns
- Face shields
- Eye shields
- Procedure masks
- Nitrile gloves
- Disinfectant bleach wipes
- CaviCide disinfectant wipes
- Hand sanitizer
LVMC is also accepting handmade and hand-sewn protective masks, which will be used for non-patient contact staff and clinical workers.