Cottage Hospital | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

County hospitals are ready to start non-emergency essential surgical procedures again after the state and county Public Health departments gave their blessing. Procedures had been halted to open bed space for the expected surge of COVID-19 cases, which has so far been avoided by so much of Santa Barbara County’s population voluntarily staying home. 

Cottage Health announced it would begin at half-capacity on Monday, Marian Medical gave a Tuesday start date for limited procedures, and Lompoc Valley hospital will resume May 7. The hospitals will require COVID-19 testing prior to the procedure. Lompoc hospital additionally stated that radiology procedures, like mammograms, will also resume and that its ER is open to walk-ins.

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