First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

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First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County
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Source: Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is confirming the first positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a north county resident. This is the only confirmed case of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County at this time.

The person identified is in their 60s and does not have underlying health conditions. The individual is recovering in isolation at home until cleared by the Public Health Officer. PHD is taking steps to identify persons who may have had close contact with this person, including friends, family members, or health care professionals. PHD will monitor them and take appropriate measures, including testing for infection, if needed.

This person has no history of travel within or outside the United States in the last six weeks, and it appears that this is a case of community transmission. The individual is working with the Public Health Department in their investigation. PHD will notify the public immediately should the investigation indicate any further action or if additional precautions are needed.

“The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has been actively preparing to ensure that we have a structure in place to effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our county,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Health Officer for Santa Barbara County. “At this time we are mandating social distancing measures to slow the spread of the virus. All large nonessential professional, social, and community gatherings should be postponed or cancelled, and smaller gatherings should be modified to allow for at least six feet of space between participants.”

Since human coronaviruses most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, community members are reminded to take measures to prevent the spread of respiratory illness:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough
  • Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.

For more information about COVID-19 and PHD’s response, please visit or call the COVID-19 Call Center at (833) 688-5551 on Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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a-1584309218 Mar 15, 2020 02:53 PM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

Has anyone considered mobile treatment units in lieu of additional beds, once we get to capacity of the number of beds we can create? Mobilizing the National Guard to expand hospital capacity sounds great, but how many people could be treated at home with mobile units with IV's of fluids and anti-inflammation drugs while at home, too? This might help isolate infected families, too? Just a thought.
I'm just really worried about all the critically-ill people who DON'T have Coronavirus, but nonetheless need medical care. Our hospitals function at near capacity as it is (anyone who's had to go with a child with an ear infection to the emergency room, has had the experience of waiting for hours with critically ill people who must wait to be seen). Let's all do what we can to slow the spread, and support our local healthcare hero's!!!

pstarSR Mar 15, 2020 08:09 PM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

im pretty sure they have considered it all. just thinking of something doesnt mean its feasible. This only shows how over taxed the medical system is currently, and with a NEW threat. the overtaxing will be even more concerning. The USA seems to think we are "better" at this, but in reality. it seems we have a weak points on multiple fronts. This threat will only show them more.

mtndriver Mar 15, 2020 05:11 PM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

There are probably privacy concerns with identifying the town. And the person could have caught it in Carp for all they know at this point. What would we do with the knowledge? Avoid the town where the patient lives? That might not be avoiding the source of infection. Could result in a false sense of security. It's going to be everywhere. It's a virus. There's no immunity, there's no vaccine. Most of us will get it eventually. And most of us will survive (speaking as an OLD person). Follow the health dept recommendations, wherever you live in the county.

a-1584328856 Mar 15, 2020 08:20 PM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

I don’t think privacy is warranted during a pandemic. It is important to know where the virus is and where those infected have been. Other states are listing the persons age, what city and if they had traveled.

jqb Mar 16, 2020 05:02 PM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

Most people survive three rounds of Russian roulette (spinning the barrel each time); most perish from four rounds. For someone 80 or over who contracts the virus, their odds of surviving (not knowing anything else about them) are slightly better than from playing one round. So "most" is not very comforting. (And please don't respond by personally attacking me, as you have in the past.)

Minibeast Mar 15, 2020 09:41 PM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

The Casino is shutting down all operations, as per The Independent. If Nick Welsh wrote that the positive test case is a 60-year-old man in Orcutt, I'm sure the location is Orcutt and not Santa Maria. The five persons in Isla Vista are now under mandatory quarantine.

giftedinSB Mar 16, 2020 08:26 AM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

It was only a matter of time before we got our first confirmed case. I've thought for a while now that it was already here; we just didn't know it because there aren't enough testing kits. More and more experts are saying that asymptomatic persons could be transmitting the disease more than we realize. Take those NBA players, for example - players 2 and 3 that tested positive were experiencing no symptoms and were "feeling fine". Even scarier? Recent research has shown that the viral load of an asymptomatic person is even higher than that of a symptomatic person, meaning people are more contagious when they don't even realize they're sick. Meanwhile, they go about their business infecting who knows how many people?

Shasta Guy Mar 16, 2020 08:12 PM
First Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

Tomorrow I’m off to San Francisco’s “Shelter in Place” Zone to pick up my daughter. She does not exhibit any symptoms. I reviewed the order by the city, and it says that you can be out of your residence for the purpose of getting home if you are not an official resident of the city. I printed it out so I can show it to the authorities in case I’m pulled over in the city. She’s all ready to go. I’ll pack her up and get out like a pit stop and be back by dinner time.

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