COVID-19 Cases Continue to Increase
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara County Health officials warn against gathering for Thanksgiving as the second wave of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
During Friday afternoon's press conference, Supervisor Gregg Hart stated virus spikes are happening all around the nation including Ventura County who reported 412 new cases, and San Luis Obispo County reporting 121 new cases on Friday alone.
Santa Barbara County is reporting 74 new cases and the Public Health Department (PHD) is investigating twelve new outbreaks, seven in congregate settings and five relating to businesses.
Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso reminded residents of the Governor's Limited Stay at Home Order which prohibits non-essential work and gatherings between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am. The county also has a strict no gathering policy with anyone outside of one's immediate household. PHD reports the majority of new cases are due to gatherings of any size, meaning it could be lunch with one coworker or dinner with two friends.
Hart stated that enforcement is always an option for egregious violators but the first encounter will always be education. Do-Reynoso also stated PHD will continue following up with businesses to make sure they're compliant with the new guidelines.
Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons, Infectious Disease Specialist at Cottage Hospital, stated an acceleration in case rates signals an anticipated surge in hospitalizations and eventual deaths in the weeks ahead.
Experience with this virus tells us up to 10-15% of people infected may need to be hospitalized, said Dr. Fitzgibbons.
She went on to remind the community that communication and education are vitally important to keep everyone informed, especially for healthcare workers who have had a "remarkably exhausting year."
Additionally, Dr. Fitzgibbons published a 24-minute video sharing the latest information and data on COVID-19 for Santa Barbara County. She shares important information on the current situation, the transition to purple, case rate comparisons with other areas in the state and country, vaccines, and tips for the upcoming holidays.
Thanksgiving Plans: Stay at Home
Health officials urged the community to celebrate Thanksgiving differently this year stating it's absolutely critical to modify holiday plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep family and friends safe.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is stating the safest way to celebrate is the stay at home with the people in your household and not to travel or gather.
The Latest Numbers
On Friday, PHD reported 74 new cases of COVID-19 within the county, bringing the grand total to 10,839. Of those, 313 are currently active with 20 hospitalizations including three in the intensive care unit.
There have been 133 deaths.
In the past five days, Santa Barbara County has averaged 58 cases per day with 91 cases alone reported on Wednesday.
The daily case rate per 100,000 population is expected to be 9.7, where 6.9 or less is needed for the next lowest tier.
More data can be viewed here.