The site of a Sears department store that has been closed since January 2019 may now be on the docket for use as an alternative care facility for COVID-19 patients.
The Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors is considering that contingency in case the local hospitals have an overwhelming surge of patients due to the recent upswing of coronavirus cases.
La Cumbre Plaza is considered attractive because it's centally located in a populated area, as well as being near Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital and only 60 miles away from Santa Maria. It's also located next to a freeway, and has a buffer zone around it as well as a large parking lot.
Health officials say they don't anticipate needing the building right now, but they do know that coronavirus numbers are on the uptick, and they have to plan for a future where there is a need.