By Raiza Giorgi

Even though cases of COVID-19 continue to slightly rise in Santa Barbara County, public health officials are optimistic the increase is following a linear path, which is a result of the community’s help. 

“It’s reassuring and a direct result of concerted effort to slow down and to flatten curve. We can be assured its working but not to waiver and continue to practice social distancing,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, public health officer. 

He said there was an outbreak at the federal prison in Lompoc as 30 inmates and 14 staff tested positive, however he declined to say how many cases were severe. 

Of the 228 cases in the county, 112 are recovering at home, 69 have fully recovered, 37 are in the hospitals with 17 in the ICU and eight are still awaiting results. Two people have died, one from north county and another in south county. Both of those were in their mid-60’s and had underlying health conditions. 

Van Do-Reynoso, PhD. Director of Santa Barbara Public Health, said the modeling she presented at the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday will see a variation and is a tool helpful for planning. 

“It helps up understand what might happen in difference scenarios, but regardless of the model, they all rely on one key criteria of adhering to social distancing,” Do-Reynoso said. 

Tracy Lehr of KEYT questioned Do-Reynoso’s length of practicing social distancing advise, which said until November, as they received a lot of panicked comments from community members they economically don’t have that long to wait to get back to work. 

“This question comes from a producer who was wondering about the info graphics at the supervisors meeting and one had a projection of social distancing lasting through November… why that projection when others aren’t predicting that,” Lehr said. 

Do-Reynoso replied that their model is based on the PENN model which goes out 100 days, and they decided to go further to get the whole bell curve. 

“What happens to the other half of the curve and chose to project out. Beyond 100 days the model is unweildy, and just a projection of what it’s completed. We might see different numbers with running real-time data,” Do-Reynoso said. 

The Star asked if economics are a factor in the model projections, as readers have commented to the Star that they will not survive until November with social distancing and it’s unrealistic. 

“I understand that economics plays a role in this as my own family is impacted with my husband being furloughed. This model depends on sheltering in place, and we plan on following the state’s direction on when that will be lifted,” Do-Reynoso said. 

Cottage Health reported they have 135 patients with 13 patients are on ventilators. Cottage still has 47 ventilators available. Of the total, 14 are isolated with COVID-19, and seven of those are in critical care, according to Cottage Health officials. 

They still have 270 more beds if needed and they have collected 1,428 tests with 111 positive, 1,219 negative and 98 are still pending, Cottage reports. 

Lompoc Valley Medical Center said they have 10 positive cases with three pending results. Of those 12 are inmates at the federal prison and one Lompoc resident. 

There are still only five cases reported in the Santa Ynez Valley. 

Those how want more information on the areas where COVID-19 have been identified can visit There are also new guidelines and restrictions for restaurant/food service workers, that include they all must wear masks while working with food.