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Santa Barbara Co. COVID-19 cases now at 373; 110 linked to Lompoc prison outbreak

A Santa Barbara County Jail inmate has also tested positive
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Posted at 4:52 PM, Apr 17, 2020

Nineteen more confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported Friday in Santa Barbara County.

There are now 373 total cases, officials say. Of those, 80 are said to be inmates at the Lompoc prison and 30 are staff members at the federal facility. Six of the 110 cases were confirmed Friday.

Health officials also announced a confirmed case in the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Throughout the county, 43 people remain hospitalized with 14 of them in the ICU.

Officials say 157 people are recovering at home and another 152 have fully recovered. There have been three deaths, not including a Lompoc prison inmate, who prison officials say tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month and died Friday.

Nick Clay, the emergency medical services director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, says the county has a long history with the Bureau of Federal Prisons (BOP), specifically the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex.

Clay says they have developed a three-pronged approach to support the prison’s efforts in regards to the outbreak.

The first step is monitoring. Clay says they partnered this past week with the prison to offer COVID-19 testing to symptomatic staff. They are also working with disease management and modeling.

Clay says, at this time, modeling draft estimates show numbers will likely continue to grow over the coming weeks.

Finally, he adds that they are consulting with prison leaders on how to identify opportunities to flatten their own curve. “Given the layout (with inmates living so close together), this is a challenging scenario even with the best mitigation efforts in place."

Health officials say their focus right now is supporting prison leadership in containment so that "growth is linear rather than exponential."

Officials also said the prison has a process in place where inmates ready to be released are quarantined for about 14 days and monitored for COVID-19 symptoms before a decision is made on whether they can leave the facility.

Santa Barbara County has created an online portal for people who would like to volunteer for various services in the county.

Services include helping with food distributions, homeless centers, call centers, medical sites and more.

Health officials say all volunteers will be sworn in as disaster service workers.

To sign up or for more information, click here.