By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health
Congratulations to our amazing Santa Barbara County businesses and residents who have been following the health orders during the coronavirus pandemic. Your hard work and diligence has resulted in our County moving from the purple tier (widespread transmission of the virus) to the next tier, the red tier, meaning that there is still substantial transmission of the virus. (visit: https://publichealthsbc.org/red-tier-faq/ to learn what is open now)
How do we Move to the Next Tier?
Moving to the new, red tier has allowed some businesses to partially open indoors, but it is vital that we all continue to follow the practices that helped us achieve this milestone.
We want to keep everyone safe as well as move to the next tier, which will allow for the opening of even more businesses. But in order for that to happen, everyone must follow the same practices that have helped our County move forward. What we absolutely do not want to happen is a move backwards to the purple tier, where some businesses will be required once again to close indoors.
Please continue to wear your face mask, stay six feet apart from others, and avoid gatherings. That’s right; please avoid gatherings!
We have all worked so hard to make progress and get life closer to normal. While we continue to fight COVID-19, there are still no gatherings permitted in Santa Barbara County. People who gather with those outside of their immediate household run the risk of contracting and spreading the virus, so please do not gather!
How Does COVID spread?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the coronavirus is most commonly spread through close contact. People who are physically near (within 6 feet) a person with COVID-19 or have direct contact with that person are at greatest risk of infection. When people with COVID-19 cough, sneeze, sing, talk, or breathe they produce respiratory droplets. These droplets can range in size from larger droplets (some of which are visible) to smaller droplets. Small droplets can also form particles when they dry very quickly in the airstream.
Infections occur mainly through exposure to respiratory droplets when a person is in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Respiratory droplets cause infection when they are inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes, such as those that line the inside of the nose and mouth. As the respiratory droplets travel further from the person with COVID-19, the concentration of these droplets decreases. Larger droplets fall out of the air due to gravity. Smaller droplets and particles spread apart in the air.
What’s Next for Santa Barbara County?
Right now, we are all very focused on keeping everyone safe and healthy and that means wearing masks, continuing to social distance, not gathering, and staying home whenever possible. As people begin to return to the workplace, go out to shop and dine and be out in public, it is vital that everyone wear a mask and stay six feet apart. Thank you for your contribution to our community’s good health.
Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP is a graduate of Justus-Liebig-University Medical School Giessen, Germany. He completed Residency training in Munich, Germany and Tucson, AZ and is board certified in Family Practice (Germany) and Internal Medicine (USA). Dr. Ansorg is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and is on the Medical Staff at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. He has many years of experience in different clinical settings including 10 years of Private Practice and Urgent Care in Munich, Germany as well as 11 years of Internal Medicine/Geriatrics in Arizona as well as 4 years at the Santa Barbara County Health Care Center. Dr. Ansorg has served as Public Health Officer for Santa Barbara County since April 2019.