Santa Barbara County is taking steps to reopening society and our economy within the framework of Governor Newsom’s Resilience Roadmap. To support implementation of the roadmap for phased reopening, a localized supplemental guide has been produced.
The Santa Barbara County RISE Guide, or Reopening In Safe Environment, was developed by medical experts and supported by feedback from all sectors of the community to create a science-based framework for residents, businesses and organizations by which to reopen in a phased manner, while prioritizing public health and protecting our most vulnerable populations.
The RISE Guide outlines the steps for reopening that can be safely taken in our community, balanced with the importance of resuming individual and economic activities as the COVID-19 epidemic evolves. The reopening approach is broken down into four phases, each with public health criteria for moving to and from phases:
Implementation measures will be developed based on the RISE Guide by stakeholder groups representing public agencies, community groups and business sectors. These guidelines are intended to be instructive, not prescriptive, and no criteria by itself should be an automatic trigger for action. Rather, the set of factors described within may be utilized and interpreted based on patterns evident in the community.
It should be noted that any reopening may be associated with an unpredictable amount of risk. However, given existing scientific evidence and analysis of Santa Barbara County’s risk profile, these guidelines are proportionate but should be utilized in the context of the adaptive response in the event of worsening criteria.
It is critical that all members of our community commit to implementing the phased preventative strategies outlined in this plan and be prepared to adapt to retightening of these preventative measures if necessary. A successful reopening will depend on everyone in our community doing their part.
Dr. Ansorg (Public Health Officer), Chairman Hart, and members of the Board of Supervisors:
This guide, “Reopening in Safe Environment ” (RISE), offers a framework for how to safely reopen the economy and our communities.
At your direction, this framework was developed to provide a recommended path for the phased reopening of our county. Midway through the development of this guide, the state released the Resilience Roadmap which set forth the stages and timing of reopening across all California counties. As the guidance and direction from the State is rolling out over time, local decisions and latitude to reopen will remain dynamic, requiring ongoing evaluation. Thus, the RISE Guide serves as an important supplement to the state plan –unique route along the roadmap – with specifics on managing the virus and reopening society, here in Santa Barbara County. In some cases, we offer an alternative perspective, or what many in the medical profession refer to as a “second opinion” on elements of State criteria that necessitate further consideration.
A LOCAL RESPONSE TO A GLOBAL CHALLENGE
While the pandemic is transpiring globally, it is borne and managed locally, by county governments, public health officials, hospitals, medical professionals and, of course, all individuals in our community. As a representative panel of medical and public health experts, we considered the capacity and resources necessary to effectively manage the spread of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County as well as the risks surrounding likelihood of transmission through a phased reopening of the community.
The RISE Guide was developed with the acknowledgement that this virus will be with us moving forward and resuming our lives and livelihoods will require the coordination and partnership of public health, hospitals, business, and community through many stages.
That is why the development of this guide included the participation of over 350 individuals in a series of 27 roundtable meetings that included, including city leaders, local elected officials, chambers of commerce, industry sectors, faith-based communities, representatives of essential workers and organizations that regularly work with minority and underserved populations.
These stakeholders provided valuable insight on the practicalities of what reopening means across diverse communities and uncovered ideas for how to reopen safely across a broad range of community settings.
A SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PLAYBOOK
The result of our work is comprised of three parts:
It is important to note this guide is a living document that will change to reflect additional input, changing conditions and new information. It is designed to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of public health as well as economic well-being.
RECOMMENDATIONS MOVING FORWARD
We will be managing and treating COVID-19 in the weeks and months ahead, and it is imperative that the County of Santa Barbara continue to evaluate the State guidance with a critical eye and through the lens of the health and safety of all Santa Barbara County residents.
Portions of the current state criteria will unnecessarily hold the county at a standstill. Therefore, we recommend advocating for a change to these criteria to ensure the county, and its residents, are not adversely impacted. The long-term health and safety of our residents requires us to safely and methodically reopen our communities while protecting vulnerable populations and ensuring the readiness of our healthcare system. This guide provides the guidance for the county to achieve these ends, while following the requirements in the State Resilience Roadmap.
Furthermore, in developing this guide, we have learned that it is not just about creating a plan. It’s about a community coming together to put ideas into practice and share the responsibility of safely and responsibly reopening. Through this process there has been a tremendous amount of goodwill built that needs to be nurtured. Moving forward, it will be essential to communicate clearly and often to the community about the rationale for decisions, if public trust is to be maintained.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate. We stand ready to support the Public Health Officer and the Board of Supervisors in service to our community moving forward.
Melissa Smith, M.D. (Chair)
Dr. J. Trees Ritter, D.O., FIDSA
Lynn Fitzgibbons, M.D.
Kevin Ferguson, M.D.
Paige Batson, M.A., R.N.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer
The following are medical and public health experts who authored the RISE Guide:
Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
The following individuals steered the overall RISE Guide effort:
The following individuals supported and integrated with the expert panel, engaged stakeholders, developed a communications plan and synthesized inputs into attached guidelines:
The following stakeholder leaders from business, education, faith, and community sectors convened nearly 350 representatives from local communities, businesses, faith organizations, education institutions and more; generating insights, inputs and ideas critical to how businesses and society can safely operate in the phases of reopening:
City of Guadalupe
Mayor Ariston Julian
City of Santa Maria
Mayor Alice Patino
City of Lompoc
Mayor Jenelle Osborne
City of Buellton
Mayor Holly Sierra
City of Solvang
Mayor Ryan Toussaint
City of Goleta
Mayor Paula Perotte
City of Santa Barbara
Mayor Murillo, Cathy
City of Carpinteria
Mayor Wade Nomura
County Special Districts
Kirsten Zimmer Deshler
Father Jon Hedges
Building & Development
Eric & Samantha Onnen
Brian Goebel (Individual)
Dr. Peter Rupert (Individual)
The following organizations hosted discussions and provided input a feedback:
|Santa Barbara County RISE GUIDE Overview and Purpose|
Describes the conditions under which the County may begin to reopen institutions and businesses safely while prioritizing public health
Provides guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19 and establishes tools and approaches to minimize future outbreaks once restrictions are loosened or lifted
Offers measurable decision points to identify how phased transitions can occur and which public health criteria might inform decisions to loosen or tighten restrictions in Santa Barbara County based on State guidance
In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine or specific therapeutics to combat infected individuals, preventive strategies, such as the restrictions being implemented worldwide, are the most effective path to contain and mitigate the infection.
The Santa Barbara County RISE Guide draws on four main sources for its framework:
|Entity||Document/s||Release Date (2020)|
U.S. Federal Government
|Guidelines: Opening Up America Again||April 16|
State of California
|Six Critical Indicators & Update on the Pandemic Roadmap & Resilience Roadmap||April 14 & 28; May 8|
|Resolve to Save Lives (RSL), an Initiative of Vital Strategies||When and How to Reopen After COVID-19||April 1|
|San Luis Obispo County||SLO County START Guide||May 1|
The RISE Guide is supplemented by two accompanying documents:
1. State and Local Guidance for Industry Sectors for organizations and businesses can be found on Page 42 of the RISE Guide
2. Santa Barbara County Readiness and Containment Plan can be found on Page 65 of the RISE Guide.
It is challenging to predict when COVID-19 may reoccur in Santa Barbara County after the first epidemic wave. However, it is recommended that the County tighten restrictions or recommend preventive measures at the individual and institutional levels if infection rates or risk substantially increase. Data from other counties can also be used to assess risk and inform strategy.
Additional unique factors warrant concern for Santa Barbara County as the epidemic evolves:
An influx of visitors and students, increased public congregation, and lack of immunity could significantly increase risk for COVID-19 in the county. As such, a second epidemic wave of the COVID-19 outbreak could be larger, infecting more people than the first.
The Roadmap Stages for Santa Barbara County are contained in the governor’s Resilience Roadmap:
Stage 1: Safety and Preparedness
Stage 2: Lower Risk Workplaces
Stage 3: Higher Risk Workplaces
Stage 4: End of Stay-at-Home Order
Loosening of restrictions will be phased in gradually based on local data. Subsequently, data will be continually monitored for signs of a substantial spike in new infections or a new epidemic curve, in which case restrictions may be reinstated.
Using Data to Inform Strategy
Patient outcomes (i.e. new infections, admissions, deaths) and system capacity (i.e. facilities, personnel, ability to trace contacts) will be drivers of county guidelines to loosen or tighten restrictions. To protect public health, it is critical that loosening of preventive measures be retightened when local or regional data suggest worsening of key parameters.
Ensuring Health Care System Capacity:
Protecting Vulnerable Populations:
Ensuring Public Health Capacity to Test, Trace and Isolate:
Developing Protocols to Keep Workers and Residents Safe:
It should be noted that some preventive actions should continue indefinitely. For example:
Adapted guidelines for loosening restrictions, by category, with State Readiness Requirements for Variance.
|State Indicators Required to Accelerate Through Stage 2|
(Note: These State indicators were appealed by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on May 13, 2020)
Santa Barbara County Indicators Recommended for all Stages (in addition to State indicators above)
Adapted mitigation measures needed when one or more criteria in at least 2 of 3 columns are met.
Template signage, provided in English and Spanish, is available to download on the County’s Public Health COVID-19 website at: https://publichealthsbc.org/business-resources