Five additional positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Sunday, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
That brings the total to 18 positive cases, with 10 in the South County and eight in the North County.
According to the PHD, two new cases involve North County residents, one in their 50s and one in their 40s. The three new cases in the South County include two in their 20s and one in their 70s.
The exact location of the new cases was not revealed.
The PHD indicated it was investigating potential contact that all five have had in the community.
The amount of cases in Santa Barbara County has doubled this weekend, moving from nine total on Friday to 18 on Sunday.
The initial nine were under quarantine at home. It is unclear on the status of the most recent nine cases.
To date, there have been 493 total tests for COVID-19 in the county, with 229 negative results and 245 tests still pending. This data includes tests from Public Health labs and Pacific Diagnostic labs, as well as Quest reported cases.
According to the latest numbers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there are now 1,799 confirmed cases in California, with 35 deaths, including the first in San Diego County, on Sunday.
There are now 25,489 confirmed cases in the United States, with 307 deaths. Globally, the number climbed to 304,524 cases with 12,973 deaths.
Cottage Health taking donations
After receiving countless inquiries about helping, Cottage Health announced that starting Tuesday, it would be accepting donations for protective equipment that will help restore stock that is used to help protect healthcare workers.
“Although work began early to manage and conserve supplies, the COVID-19 situation is evolving day by day. The global demand has overwhelmed the limited supplies being manufactured by some of the typical supply chain,” the release said.
“Based on market supply availability and projected usage, Cottage anticipates supply challenges for protective equipment including: medical goggles, face shields, protective masks and gowns.”
Cottage was quick to ask for people not to enter the hospital to make their donations, instead setting up a drop-off center in the parking area adjacent to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital at 351 South Patterson Ave. in Goleta.
The drop-off area will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily indefinitely.
Cottage Health prefers “original, unopened packaging” of the following:
- Faces shields (single use or non-disposable)
- Eye shields (single use or non-disposable)
- Isolation gowns or standard level 3 gowns
- N95 masks
- N99 masks
- Standard procedure masks
- Re-usable P100 / N95 respirators and cartridges/filters
- Respirator hoods or hazmat hoods
Sewn cloth masks are not being accepted at this time.
If you have questions, call or email David Dietrich, vice president for advancement, at 805-569-7345 or email@example.com.
PATH focuses on guidelines
PATH, a center for the area’s homeless community, reiterated in a press release on Sunday that “all public health directives are being followed, and the highest levels of sanitation and virus prevention measures are being taken.”
With COVID-19 being a highly contagious virus, PATH has taken a strict policy on how it deals with those that are presenting symptoms.
“As specified by Public Health guidelines, they are immediately put in separation, and Public Health transports them away from PATH.”
As of Sunday, PATH says that there have been no positive tests from anyone that has resided at its facility.
“PATH continues to accept new residents and is committed to housing homeless people in our community, helping people to Make it Home,” the release said.
Board of Supervisors goes virtual
In light of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors announced on Sunday that it will forego in-person participation at its meetings for the foreseeable future.
The board released ways that the public can stay involved and ask questions of the board members, which include:
- Watch the livestream on local cable channel 20 (a link can be found at countyofsb.org), which also streams on its YouTube channel (search CSBTV20)
- If you wish to make a public comment, you can submit it via email by 5 p.m. on the Monday prior to the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you wish to read into the record at the meeting, you can submit an email prior to the close of an agenda item, limited to 250 words or less, to email@example.com. You must state that you would like the note to be “read into the record.”
- If you’d like to make a comment by phone, call 805-568-2240, state your name, your phone number and which item you’d like to speak on. The clerk will call you back at the appropriate time.
State Parks try to ‘flatten the curve’
The California State Parks, which closed campgrounds last week, announced a new social media campaign that is focused on how to “flatten the COVID-19 curve at parks.” They’ve made a landing page on their website at www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve.
The premise is to encourage people to enjoy the parks, but maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet, as well as staying home if you are not feeling well.
In an effort to follow state mandates, the parks have done the following:
- Closed museums, visitor centers and cafes
- Closed campgrounds
- Canceled all state park system events until further notice
- Postponed all new event application requests
- Public-facing facilities, such as restrooms, are being cleaned more frequently, following recommended protocols
Senator tests positive
Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus, with his chief of staff announcing it on Sunday.
“He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person,” said a tweet from Mr. Paul’s official account.
Mr. Paul underwent lung surgery in August 2019.
The diagnosis comes only days after he opposed an $8.3 billion initial response to the coronavirus.
Kentucky now has 99 positive COVID-19 cases.
Help is on the way
President Trump has signed paperwork that will have the federal government pay for the deployment of the National Guard in California, New York and Washington — the three heaviest hit states by COVID-19.
Gov. Newsom indicated that the National Guard would be utilized to aid food banks that are serving residents whose needs have not been met due to temporary supply shortages.
In addition, President Trump approved Gov. Newsom’s request to declare California a major disaster, which allows for “mass care” — emergency aid, unemployment assistance and disaster legal services.
President Trump also said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be shipping mobile hospital beds within the next 48 hours, with California looking to get about 2,000 beds.
In addition, the Navy hospital ship Mercy will move from San Diego to Los Angeles, where it will be used to treat patients that have ailments other than COVID-19. It will likely be in L.A. in less than a week.
Stimulus proposal stalled
Needing 60 votes for the stimulus bill proposed by the Senate Republicans to move forward, a 47-47 vote on Sunday left the bill for dead, with Senate Democrats potentially moving in their own direction.
Initially hoping to pass the enormous $1.8 trillion bill on Monday, partisan disputes put the stimulus on hold.
The 47-47 vote was missing five Republican votes, as they are quarantined over coronavirus fears.
As of Sunday night, senators from both sides indicated that discussions would continue, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that another procedural vote would occur at 6:45 a.m. Monday morning, shortly after the stock market is set to open.
After a dismal week on Wall Street, experts fear that the week ahead could be even worse.
“Right now, they’re not there,” President Trump said. “But I think that the Democrats want to get there. And I can tell you for a fact, the Republicans want to get there. And I don’t think anybody actually has a choice.”