Santa Barbara County Working With University To Secure Beds In Case Of COVID Surge

Jul 16, 2020

Finding alternate care sites for COVID-19 patients in case hospitals reach capacity is proving to be a challenge.

Santa Barbara County said this week that it had considered multiple options this week, including UC Santa Barbara, before it landed on using a vacant building formerly occupied by Sears in the city of Santa Barbara itself.

That option would still require a renovation costing at least $1 million, and residents of the county's northern areas like Santa Maria were concerned about the hour-long drive.

County Supervisors and staff say that to address those concerns, they've been working with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to scout their recreation center as an alternative.

That site could host up to 900 beds, with the intention of housing patients who can't stay at home and contract the novel coronavirus while hospitals are overloaded.

No formal contract has been signed, but Cal Poly says they're working with the county to make sure beds are available.