Coronavirus roundup: County Fire engine crew may have been exposed to the coronavirus
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Coronavirus roundup: County Fire engine crew may have been exposed to the coronavirus

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Santa Barbara County Fire engine crew may have been exposed to the coronavirus

A Santa Barbara County Fire Department engine crew may have been exposed to the coronavirus while on a medical assistance call Tuesday, and officials are awaiting test results from the patient before testing the firefighters.

County Fire Capt. Daniel Bertucelli said he couldn’t reveal whether the engine company is stationed in the North or South County, but he said the crew and other first responders were dispatched for a woman having a medical emergency.

She was assisted and transported to a hospital, where her symptoms began to evolve into those of COVID-19, Bertucelli said.

He said the engine company and other first responders were immediately notified and put into quarantine, and although the equipment used in the call had already been normally decontaminated, additional sanitation measures were taken.

The patient has been tested for COVID-19, and officials are awaiting the results, which could take as much as 48 hours.

If they come back positive for the virus, the firefighters will then be tested, Bertucelli said. In the meantime, they will remain in quarantine.

City, county organizations collaborate to offer senior food deliveries

Food deliveries to senior citizens throughout Santa Barbara County are now available through a partnership between the County Foodbank, the city of Santa Maria and the Community Action Commission as of Wednesday. 

Deliveries of staple goods including dry beans, rice pasta and canned goods will be offered to individuals 60 years and older, as well as individuals with disabilities 55 and older. 

Requests for deliveries can be made by calling 211. The call center will be staffed by Santa Maria Public Library employees, city spokesman Mark van de Kamp said.

Services will be limited to one delivery per household every other week, he added. 

Delivery service will be available to all county areas except Cuyama, where the County Foodbank provides food to the Cuyama Family Resource Center. 

Delivery staff will be made up of community volunteers as well as staff from partner organizations, including the Family Service Agency, Easy Lift, Community Partners in Caring, and the Friendship Center.

Hancock College to begin emergency food distribution

Hancock College will operate as an emergency food distribution site for community members two days a week beginning March 26.

The drive-through service at Hancock's Santa Maria campus will offer prebagged, nonperishable food Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 11:30 a.m. and continuing until all the food for the day has been distributed. 

All food is provided by the Santa Barbara County Foodbank. 

The distribution area will be located at Entrance 2 off South Bradley Road near Building B, with signs posted to direct community members to the location. 

Staff will follow recommended hygiene guidelines by wearing gloves and masks, washing their hands frequently and practicing social distancing, a college spokesman said. 

Hancock's Lompoc campus will not function as a community food distribution site but will continue to offer its "Food Share Because We Care" program for students, providing a drive-through service with prebagged food on Thursdays at 2 p.m. 

Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.

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