A third death related to COVID-19 has been confirmed — a South County individual in their 70s who was in hospice care — the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported Thursday.
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to their family and loved ones," Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said at an afternoon press conference.
According to Ansorg, the individual was already living in hospice before contracting the virus. The patient's name was not released.
Ansorg also announced 20 additional confirmed cases in the county as of Thursday, six of which are associated with the outbreak at the Federal Penitentiary in Lompoc, for a total of 354 cases thus far in the county.
Of the total cases, 159 are recovering at home, 39 are recovering in the hospital with 14 in intensive care units, and 137 have fully recovered. The department is awaiting updates on the status of 16 cases, and a total of three individuals have died.
The total also includes 45 health-care workers who have tested positive for the virus as of Thursday.
Earlier this week, the governor's office released guidelines outlining broad parameters for safety and virus containment that will be needed prior to reversing the stay-at-home order that's in place.
While the county Public Health Department has agreed to fulfill the guidelines locally, officials believe a heavy increase in funding will be needed to pay for additional testing as well as further hiring and employee pay to properly meet the needs in the community.
"Local governments and health care providers will need more financial assistance from state and federal governments to take on the new responsibilities that will be required to make these transitions work," 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart said.
Taking into account loss of revenue from coronavirus impacts along with costs incurred from responding to the virus, the county is anticipating nearly $40 million in budget hits through the end of the fiscal year in June, Hart said.
"Devastating revenue losses are still being evaluated, but as a short term mitigation measure, the use of general fund reserves will be required," Hart said. "Now more than ever, we will need even more assistance to help us get the financial resources necessary to implement the Governor's COVID-19 transition framework and get our community back to work."
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Hagan and Katie of Los Alamos Roadhouse enjoy the Cruise of Los Alamos Parade Saturday evening.
Locals wave at cars participating on the 3rd Cruise Los Alamos Saturday evening.
Clancey Cooper of Los Alamos enjoys the town parade.
An SUV deocorated in Easter eggs participates in the Cruise Los Alamos Cruise parade Saturday evening.
Locals participating in the 3rd Annual cruise Los Alamos parade Saturday evening.
An SUV sports a safety mask during the Cruise Los Alamos parade Saturday evening.
Locals participate on the Cruise for Los Alamos Saturday evening.
A motorbike joins the caravan during the 3rd cruise Los Alamos event saturday evening.
Neighbors wave to each other during the 3rd Cruise Los Alamos parade Saturday evening.
Plenty on Bell - Los Alamos
Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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