Amid first coronavirus-related death, Santa Barbara County prepares for economic recovery

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Public health officials announced the first coronavirus-related death in Santa Barbara County on April 1.

The individual was a North County resident in their 60s with underlying health conditions. Officials also confirmed 12 new cases in the county, bringing the grand total up to 111. Thirteen of those cases are currently hospitalized in intensive care.
RAMPING UP With local cases of COVID-19 increasing daily, Santa Barbara County launched web-based resources for businesses and workers to help get through the crisis. - FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO
  • RAMPING UP With local cases of COVID-19 increasing daily, Santa Barbara County launched web-based resources for businesses and workers to help get through the crisis.

As new cases continue to increase, the county is taking measures to prepare for the looming economic impacts of this health crisis. One of those measures is a new webpage on the readysbc.org website devoted to COVID-19 economic recovery.

“Because the coronavirus continued to grow, we figured instead of keeping it solely on the public health side, we had to create that page for economic recovery so that it would provide information for business and the affected workers,” Alma Janabajab, a business services strategist with the county’s Workforce Development Board, told the Sun.



The web page includes resources and links for both businesses and individuals. An “immediate steps to take” link directs business owners to a step-by-step guide on contacting their insurance provider, tracking losses, and other business support. A “businesses hiring now” link includes names of businesses that are currently accepting applications and details about the type of work. Other resources include extensive information on how to apply for unemployment insurance or a business disruption loan and a constantly updated list of emergency declarations and orders.

Janabajab said that the county is currently working to translate business and worker resource guides into Spanish to make these resources accessible to as much of the community as possible. During an April 1 virtual press conference, Public Health Department Director Dr. Van Do Reynoso said that the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is also taking active steps toward Spanish translation and language accessibility.

“Our website, publichealthsbc.org, is fully translated in Spanish and in addition we have our frequently asked questions,” Reynoso said. “We’re one of the first few counties to be able to have that up in Spanish. We’re also creating videos that will be bilingual as well as bicultural to disseminate. We are partnering up with UCSB and a variety of community organizations to disseminate that information as well.”

Gregg Hart, 2nd District Supervisor, also mentioned during the press conference that all virtual press conferences are translated into Spanish. These translations air on the county’s CSBTV Live Youtube channel after the live press conference ends. ∆

—Malea Martin

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