SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Public Health announced 13 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the County's confirmed total to 152.
Of those patients, 26 are hospitalized, with 17 in the ICU. One person has died. Thirty-five patients are said to have fully recovered.
Public Health Director Van do-Reynoso said Public Health is doing some "preliminary modeling" for when County hospitals could see a surge in COVID-19 patients.
“The best case scenario for this model that we have—it’s not engraved in stone—but we’re guesstimating that we’ll peak around the middle of May,” she said.
Public Health officials say in order to buy as much time as possible for healthcare workers to be ready for the surge, people need to continue to social distance and stay at home as much as possible.
“We can’t rest or backslide,” Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart said. “Relaxing physical distancing and not taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus will lead to lost lives.”
That becomes especially relevant heading into the weekend.
“While compliance with the health order locally is very good during the week, we’ve seen an uptick in concentrations of people and gatherings in parks and neighborhoods on the past two weekends,” Hart said, discouraging in-person friend or family gatherings of any kind.
“COVID-19 can and will spread among people who are related, or among strangers. The only people who should be together outdoors are those who are currently living in the same household," he explained.
County Public Health says if people plan on going for a hike or walk on the beach over the weekend, they should always have a backup plan in case too many other people are doing the same thing.
The County also says it is working on data for how many local healthcare workers have tested positive, and should be ready to present that data in the coming days.