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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Update: Key Facts from SB City Hall Briefing as the First Case of COVID-19 is Found in County

Updated: Mar 19, 2020

At 3 p.m. on Sunday, county public health officials briefed city administrators and managers via conference call about SB county's first confirmed coronavirus case.

They also briefed on the quarantine of five UCSB students who have been in contact with someone infected with the coronavirus.

Both the Indy and Noozhawk have reports on the case, an Orcutt man in his sixties, and the students quarantined in I.V., which are published here and here.

In the interest of disseminating clear and accurate information, Councilmember Mike Jordan provided Newsmakers his just-the-facts notes about the briefing. Most notable: new details on the availability and protocols on testing for the virus:

✔1 confirmed case in North County, spouse being tested ✔5 UCSB students are in mandatory quarantine and waiting for test results after exposure to a confirmed case in San Diego last week ✔Local testing is being done on a (priority) TIER basis- highest priority (T1) is long term care, congregate living, shelters, health care workers, hospitalized, nursing homes, hospital and EMS populations.

Local T1 labs are in Ventura and SLO, and 23 total tests can be performed daily, largely due to the time it takes the equipment to process the test, 5 hours, hence the prioritizing.

T2 population- higher risk like age and health challenges-  tests are going to commercial labs and results time is 3 - 6 days.  Lab testing supplies are still in a less than abundant supply but more are coming.

T3 is characterized as general population and is available "as available," but there is currently no capacity.  People who are or feel ill are advised to stay at home as if they (have) a positive test. ✔County Public Health is frustrated with the above and working on improving the availability and process, and pursuing adequate support and resources from the State and Federal level. ✔The City will have another update at City Council on Tuesday at 2pm.  You can watch it live on Cox channel 18, or live streaming on the City's web site, or on demand streaming immediately following the meeting.

The City is continuing to actively monitor, is participating 24/7 with the County Health Department and partner medical groups and is calmly ready to further respond if the situation worsens. ✔What to do?   Practice great personal hygiene.  Continue to social distance.  Contact your medical provider if symptoms appear.  Don't hoard.  Support each other, especially those who are alone and at risk or can't easily take care of themselves (food, supplies, pets...).

Thanks Mike Jordan for helping get the word out.


Images: Coronavirus update (; Council member Jordan (

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