For the second consecutive day, the number of new COVID-19 cases could be counted on one hand, with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department revealing two additional confirmed cases to bring the county’s total to 473.
Over the past four days, the numbers of cases have gone from nine to eight to three to two.
“Our COVID-19-related hospitalizations and ICU admission rate has stayed stable over the weekend, which again is directly attributed to our efforts as a county with maintaining physical distancing,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, the county’s public health officer.
In a shift in philosophy, the PHD also announced that it would begin to identify the cities in which deaths occur, whereas they were simply identifying either North or South County previously.
With the seven deaths, two have occurred in Goleta, one in the unincorporated area of Goleta Valley and Gaviota, one in Lompoc, one in Santa Maria, one in the North County unincorporated area and one at the Lompoc federal prison.
While not having exact numbers, Dr. Ansorg also said that the majority of the 59 healthcare workers that have tested positive COVID-19 have fully recovered and returned to work.
The geographical area of these cases was not revealed Monday.
With the addition of two cases in the county, there are 138 people still recovering either at home or in the hospital, while 322 have fully recovered.
With the load lightened at the hospitals, scheduled surgeries restarted on Monday, with Dr. Ansorg speaking to a deliberate and slow reintroduction pace.
“Again, this has been made possible by our commune achievements by successful physical distancing,” Dr. Ansorg said.
The county’s Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart opened Monday’s press conference by speaking to the large crowds at the beaches up and down the South Coast.
“Deputies were making contact and talking to people at the beach about how important it is to practice physical distancing, even while outdoors,” Mr. Hart said. “There was a lot of collaborative work done by all local agencies across the South Coast. There will be even more enforcement this coming weekend.”
Mr. Hart spoke to the importance of exercise in staying healthy during this time, although he indicated that’s not an excuse to skirt the rules.
“We each have a responsibility to do our own part to support managing the dual challenge of recreating safely, while also protecting public health,” Mr. Hart said. “I’ll say it once again, if you go to a park or a beach or a trailhead, and there are already too many people there, go somewhere else. Even though we are trying to stay physically apart from each other, we must not allow that physical distancing to stop us from connecting with friends and loved ones emotionally. We are not alone in this crisis, we are more connected than ever because we are all going through this together.”
While residents and visitors were seen in mass without face coverings this past weekend, Matt Farris, the division chief for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, indicated that all county personnel responding to incidents at the beach, or providing education to those not following the rules, were to be wearing masks.
It was observed by many that this was not occurring, which Mr. Farris says would be addressed before what promises to be another hot weekend, with initial forecasts for temperature back in the high 80s starting Friday.
“Any call that they go on they should be wearing full PPE so that when they encounter anyone they do not know if they have the virus or not, they are protecting themselves,” Mr. Farris said. “Our preference is that they do wear face coverings during those encounters, they are not responding to emergency at that time, but they will be wearing face coverings and gloves.”
Cottage Health, by the numbers
A look at where Cottage Health stands through Monday:
- Cottage Health is caring for a total of 207 patients across all campuses.
- 155 are acute care patients; 218 acute care beds remain available.
- Of the 155 patients, 10 patients are on ventilators; 60 ventilators remain available (adult, pediatric and neonatal ventilators)
- Of the 155 patients, 15 are in isolation with COVID-19 symptoms; 6 are confirmed COVID-19 positive.
- Of 15 patients in isolation, 5 patients are in critical care.
- Cottage has collected 2,993 cumulative test samples: 197 resulted in positive, 2,624 resulted in negative, and 172 are pending. In most of these tests, patients did not require hospital admission.
COVID-19, by the numbers
A look at nationwide and worldwide numbers through Monday — a day that saw the U.S. go over 1 million confirmed cases and the world surpass 3 million cases:
- In the United States, there are now 1,010,507 confirmed cases, with 56,803 deaths and 139,162 that have fully recovered.
- Across the world, there are 3,041,550 confirmed cases, with 211,170 deaths and 894,703 have fully recovered.