In the recent column by the Angry Poodle, the writer states that the City of Santa Barbara seems to be moving forward with allowing cruise ships to once again “grace” our harbors.
Not only is COVID not over by a long shot, the idea that Cottage hospital would not treat these travelers should they become ill while visiting Santa Barbara is entirely erroneous. The federal law known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act makes it illegal for any emergency department to turn away any patient. This is not a new law.
For the City of Santa Barbara and the harbor’s Waterfront Department to allow the return of these ships would significantly endanger the health of this community.
We all wish it were gone, but it’s not as yet, and the increasing number of hospitalization rates for COVID prove that this is indeed a continuing threat.
Cottage Hospital and its staff have been working long and hard, as are frontline workers in every state. We should make a concerted effort as a community to cause no further stress on that already taxed system and providers.