Isla Vista Still Concerns Public Health Department
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is still concerned about Isla Vista as COVID-19 case numbers continue to grow.
There have been 397 cases of COVID-19 in Isla Vista since the start of the pandemic, approximately 4% of the county's total case rate. There are currently 26 active cases that puts Isla Vista at the top of the list for the highest 7-day sum of cases within the county.
This is especially concerning given the Isla Vista population is significantly lower and outside of Isla Vista the county's case rate has remained steady, said Nick Clay, Director of the Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency.
"What happens next in Isla Vista is truly up to its residents, no matter how much we test, how much public education we send out, or how much the health officer's order is enforced, the individuals in that community need to take appropriate action to stop the spread of COVID-19," said Clay. "That means stop having parties, wear a mask, and don't just practice social or physical distancing, do it."
PHD partnered with UC Santa Barbara to ensure there's enough testing for Isla Vista residents and students, as well as contact tracing and quarantine/isolation accommodations.
Currently, Santa Barbara county solidly remains in the red tier as the increase of cases in Isla Vista and Santa Maria has pushed the less-restrictive orange tier further away, said Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart.
He also stated that anecdotally they have heard there were fewer gatherings last weekend and it could possibly be due to the news coverage about a spike in cases, but Halloween will be the biggest test.
UC Santa Barbara and various agencies have put together ideas to safely celebrate Halloween and some virtual options. A list of some of these can be found here.
PHD reports 26 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths on Friday.
Both individuals were residents of the City of Santa Maria. One individual was between the ages of 50-69 with underlying medical conditions. One individual was over 70 years of age without underlying medical conditions and was associated with an outbreak at a congregate facility.
The total death toll has now reached 128 in the county.
The grand total of COVID-19 cases is now 9,944 with 137 of those still active. There are 9 hospitalizations including 1 in the intensive care unit (ICU).
More data can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org/status-reports/.