••• Now here’s a sexy rental: “Live the 5-star lifestyle at the Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito, in the property’s only single family home [60 Miramar Avenue] w/private fenced yard & garden. Fully furnished & just steps from the luxurious Miramar resort [….] This two-story home offers the most discerning resident resort living & service, but w/residential exclusivity. Exceptionally appointed w/ two ensuite bedrooms, private study, beautiful kitchen, spacious living & dining room w/fireplace & bar open to the terrace for easy indoor/outdoor living. Covered terrace overlooks the expansive lawn & garden. Enjoy the amenities of the Miramar including access to the Cabana & Family Pools, beach amenities, Fitness/Wellness Center, Housekeeping, Room Service, restaurants & bars.” It’s available now for a 12-month lease at $95,000 per month, or $1.14 million for the year.
••• Garage Gems, an antiques and vintage furnishings store, opens this weekend at 747 S. Kellogg Avenue in Goleta (Friday, July 3, through Sunday, July 5, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Afterward, the store will be by appointment on weekdays and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays.
••• The repair of the Stearns Wharf sign, damaged by a car in December, has been completed.
••• KEYT’s John Palminteri tweeted a schedule of when various movie theaters will reopen.
••• From the county’s Office of Arts & Culture: “‘Camouflage House,’ a temporary public sculpture installation by internationally acclaimed artist and UCSB alumnus Tom Fruin, brings art outdoors to the community beginning June 30. With its Santa Barbara oceanfront debut at Arroyo Burro Beach County Park, this vibrant, multi-colored work is meant to offer a communal opportunity for reflection and meditation.” A rendering is below.
I thought I would share with you data from the COVID-19 testing we do of our patients. I know that you have seen national, state-wide and county-level data. I thought sharing data from our own testing may make what is happening locally more real and meaningful. We have been testing since early March. We have been consistent in the group of patients we test: ambulatory patients in southern Santa Barbara County. When we say “ambulatory patients” we mean patients out in the community and not those who are hospitalized. Labs have larger data sets, but they tend to have some confounding populations, for instance one week they may test nursing home patients and the next week only test ambulatory patients. So, though our data set is not huge, it is large enough to see trends and the consistency of the tested population is helpful to see trouble fading or coming.
The following chart shows all of the COVID-19 tests performed at Sansum Clinic week by week. The number that were positive is indicated in red at the top of the blue bars, and the percentage of positive tests is shown with the orange line. You can see the high percentage of positive cases early, when we only had capacity to test very ill people. Then you can see the fall-off in the percentage of positive cases, despite testing more people during the “lockdown,” and now the increase in the percent of positive cases with the return to more normal levels of activity. You can see in the last two weeks, the number tested is fairly constant, but the rate of positives has doubled in a week and gone up by multiples of that in the last 3 weeks. Hospitalizations locally have increased as well, though typically with this illness the hospitalizations come after people have been infected for a week or more—put another way, hospitalizations lag the positive tests on ambulatory patients. The recent trend is very concerning for all of us, as these results are reflective of people just walking around in our community, just like most of us reading this. Half way through this current week, we can see that next week’s report will likely look worse than that shown here. So, it is not likely a self-correcting blip. It is a trend and we need to acknowledge that shutting down again is seemingly not in the cards, and instead we need to do what we can to reverse this trend. We need to do things differently about mask wearing and social distancing.
Before the uptick, we thought the prevalence of active infections was about 1% of the population. It is likely higher than that now. Another way of illustrating this: if you were to attend an event with 100 people several weeks ago, when rate of infections was 1%, it was likely that 1 of the 100 people was infected. If you were to attend the same event now, it is likely more than 1 would have the illness.
From what we see in the news, at our parks and beaches, or downtown, it doesn’t appear that the public is ready to be on lockdown like we were before the reopening began. As we begin slowly returning to everyday activities like going to local restaurants or returning to the gym, many people seem to have thought that a loosening of restrictions meant there was no need to do the things that decrease transmission; some relaxed on wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing. All are important in stopping or slowing transmission. Wearing masks in particular decreases the chance of transmission.
We know the histories of the people testing positive and in many instances they were exposed while out in the community not wearing masks and being around others not wearing masks, and then rapid spread occurred when they returned to their family environment, impacting people of all ages. To further reinforce the importance of mask wearing, we also know of instances in which people were exposed to COVID-19, but since all parties were wearing a mask, the infection did not spread. Since mask-wearing protects the people with whom you interact, if everyone adheres to the mask-wearing ordinance, we can all enjoy a little bit more freedom. I have heard mask-wearing referred to as the ultimate act of kindness and compassion for others.