With the addition of two new positive COVID-19 tests in the South County, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department added a level of transparency to all 26 countywide cases on Wednesday.
Taking the lead of many other counties up and down the coast, the PHD has now revealed where each of the positive coronavirus cases reside.
Here is the breakdown:
- Santa Barbara: 10
- Santa Maria: 6
- Orcutt: 5
- Montecito/Carpinteria/Summerland: 5
According to the PHD, six have fully recovered, while two remain hospitalized. The remaining 18 are under home care.
The two cases revealed on Wednesday involved another individual in their 20s, as well as one in their 50s.
“Although PHD has released the cities and areas where confirmed COVID-19 cases have occurred, it is critical that residents in all areas of the county stay at home and practice social distancing when performing essential tasks outside their home,” the PHD said.
Lompoc Valley Medical Center President and CEO Stephen Popkin sent a note to the hospital’s extended community, providing plenty of details.
“Regarding COVID-19 testing, I would like to mention two things. As of today, March 25, LVMC has collected 46 specimens in accordance with Public Health Department guidelines and sent them to an approved laboratory for testing. Of the 46 tests, 28 results have been received and they are all negative. There are 18 test results still pending. So, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at LVMC or in Lompoc as of this date,” Mr. Popkin said.
In addition, Mr. Popkin was open about having equipment at LVMC to help expedite testing.
“You may have heard in the media that there will soon be a piece of laboratory equipment where the COVID-19 test can be performed on-site with a 45-minute turnaround time, instead of a 1-6 day turnaround time. LVMC already has that equipment, however the vendor is just starting to make available the software and supplies needed to run the tests. We are doing everything we can to be up and running as soon as possible,” Mr. Popkin said.
SBCFD potentially exposed to COVID-19
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department announced that a handful of first responders were potentially exposed to COVID-19 on Tuesday as they responded to a call for service for a woman having a medical emergency.
At the hospital, the woman’s symptoms proved to be consistent with COVID-19 and has since been tested. Those results are still pending.
According to the release, those firefighters that responded will remain in quarantine until results are returned.
California saw 548 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with 12 additional deaths. The totals are now 3,158 and 67, respectively.
Of the deaths, 17 have been in Santa Clara County and 13 in Los Angeles County, the only counties in double digits. Riverside County has reported eight deaths. In all, 19 counties have experienced at least one death, including Ventura County.
Stimulus finally passes
After three days of haggling over details, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously — 96-0 — to pass the $2 trillion economic stimulus plan that is intended to aid businesses from coast to coast, while also putting money directly into the hands of Americans.
The Senate vote happened early Wednesday morning, while the U.S. House of Representatives are scheduled to vote on the bill on Friday.
“At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “In effect, this is a wartime level of investment for our nation.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed Mr. McConnell.
“Help is on the way, big help.”
President Trump indicated that he would sign the bill immediately once it passed the House vote.
The complete text of the bill is yet to be made available, although it was revealed that the GOP proposal for direct payments to Americans held up.
For individuals making up to $75,000 per year, they would receive checks for $1,200. For couples, the threshold is $150,000. Parents will also get $500 per child.
“Our expectation is within three weeks we will have direct payments out,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
The bill also includes $350 billion in assistance for small businesses; $500 billion for corporations such as airlines and cruise lines; $100 billion for hospitals; and $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds.