This update is provided to you by the Montecito Association because these are extenuating circumstances in a pandemic crisis. We share this information daily with our membership by email. We hope you find this useful, and encourage you to support this work for our community by becoming a member. You can become a member here. There's rather a lot of noise going on at national levels at present. I'm not going to cover it here. The only thing I do see persistently across the press briefings is an emerging concern re testing. Today the US said that there is enough national testing capacity for all states to enter Phase I of the federal guidelines, as long as they meet the criteria of a 14-day decline in cases. However, despite some herculean strides in testing capacity, shortages persist in some areas, and again, there are lots of news stories on this and speculations as to why. But that concern, of a lack of testing strength, is prescient here locally. Our number of cases broke 400, standing at 416, and that puts us on a par with Ventura, who has 428 cases, and double our population. The north county (Lompoc, the Lompoc Federal Penitentiary, and Santa Maria) make up 173 of the cases, with the Lompoc Federal Penitentiary contributing another 96. South County Unincorporated - the zone we've been put into with Carpinteria and Summerland, has stayed fairly flat since late last week, at 21 cases. This is good news, and also may prod county officials to think in terms in regions in whatever actions they take going forward. Supervisor Gregg Hart, chair of the Board of Supervisors, laid out the testing hurdles we face in his interview with Jerry Roberts. You can watch it here. Basically, Hart is saying the county has flattened the curve, but can't move forward on reopening without ample testing. Today, the governor said something similar in his press briefing. He intends Wednesday to roll out more details on the roadmap to recovery, and where we are in real-time in terms of our ability to toggle / adjust our stay-at-home orders, which remain in effect. State testing goal: 25,000 per day by end of April. 42 lives lost last night 1,208 lives lost in California. 1.9% increase in hospitalizations. Beginning to flatten, but still growing, albeit slowly. ICU numbers flattening. California is seeking major ramp-up of professionals and volunteers to do contact tracing going forward to manage quarantine and halt the spread of virus. On Sunday, the Governor said California has one of the highest per-capita rates of homelessness in the US with 108,000 people living unsheltered. “Project Roomkey” is a California program in partnership with FEMA that identified 15,000 hotel rooms in the state that will be supported through food delivery and social services to provide accommodations for homeless individuals. On Sunday, the state reached a milestone of 10,984 hotel rooms procured. 4,211 individuals experiencing homelessness in Ventura, Santa Clara, Los Angeles counties have been moved indoors. Motel 6 setting aside 47 hotels in 19 counties in the state, for 5,025 additional rooms for Project Roomkey. The governor wants to look at procuring these sites into the future beyond this pandemic. The groups prioritized for Project Roomkey are COVID19 positive test cases, those exposed to COVID19, elderly, and others experiencing co-morbidity with disease. Launched this effort just a few weeks ago… Here are local details on Project Roomkey: Ventura County secured 270 rooms 4 weeks ago in various motels. Santa Barbara may have secured 68 rooms in a south county location. More details coming soon. Statistics from the Johns Hopkins site: World: 2,400,000 positive cases US: 786,000 cases. 4,000,000 tests conducted. A look at morbidity rates across the world tracked by Real Clear Politics:
Please note that Sweden, who has no stay-at-home order and is practicing very little social distancing, has a higher deaths / million people ratio than the US.
So going back to an intensely local focus for a moment:
I noticed while I was out this weekend that people were behaving strangely. Two different vehicles coasted right through red lights as through they weren't there. Others walked against signals with earbuds in as though traffic laws were no longer in effect. The weather is expected to be super warm this week, and lots more people were out in today's balmy weather. Take extra care of your safety at this time. The worldwide pandemic produced a startling, and reassuring effect: millions of people all over the globe made a collective decision, that was lightly enforced at best, to stay indoors to protect millions of other lives. There's kind of a loosening of that right now in the collective consciousness, and people aren't being quite as careful with others' safety as they were, so we're asking you to please be extra careful with yours.
Also, ending on an uplifting note: you may know our Montecito Association Community Hall has been taken over by the Bucket Brigade to make masks for first responders and healthcare workers. They'd love to have your support! To learn more about this cool project and support it, please click here.
Enjoy the warm weather this week, and please stay safe and healthy! Kind regards, Sharon Byrne, Executive Director 805-636-0475 http://www.montecitoassociation.org