Increase in COVID-19 cases are very concerning

By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health

Santa Barbara County is seeing an alarming increase in new case rates for COVID-19, with active cases up 90% over two weeks ago. With the current uptick, it is expected that the daily case rates will continue to increase and cause a new wave of infection similar to the Summer of 2020.

The biggest obstacle to stopping the virus is the proportion of unvaccinated community members. In Santa Barbara County, an unvaccinated person is15 times more likely to get infected and fall ill from COVID-19 compared to if they were vaccinated. The new surge is truly a wave of unvaccinated people falling ill and spreading the virus to others.

Severe COVID-19 can be very dangerous: The sooner you get vaccinated, the sooner you, your friends and family will be protected.

How do I protect myself against variants?

• Get vaccinated if you are 12 years of age or older. The three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the US offer the best protection against all variants currently spreading here. They have proven to be very safe and effective. If you have concerns or questions about COVID-19 vaccines, talk with your doctor. If you are already vaccinated, encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to get vaccinated.

Wear a mask. Masks remain the most powerful tool to protect yourself from infection and others if you were unknowingly spreading the virus before developing symptoms. Make sure you wear a well-fitting mask that covers both your mouth and nose in public indoor settings.  Because the Delta variant is capable to occasionally infect vaccinated people, we  strongly recommend that fully vaccinated persons also wear masks indoors in public places .

Learn more about masks at

• Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer often – especially after being in public spaces where surfaces are touched by many people.

How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines are available across Santa Barbara County and free to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Many vaccination sites take walk-ins, or you can choose to make an appointment.

• Visit to find a location near you.

• Visit for additional locations

• Information is also available in many languages 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.

• TEXT: GETVAX (438829) for English or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish


Written by Anonymous

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  1. Here we go again. I’m donning my mask again, I have been not wearing one b/c I’m vaxxed but with this, it’s time if only to prevent MORE mutations which might escape the vaccine’s effectiveness.

  2. We need a vaccine mandate, not a mask mandate.
    The City of Santa Barbara and private businesses should demand proof of vaccination before providing goods and services. All city employees must be required to be vaccinated or submit to regular intrusive COVID testing.
    As recently as yesterday, the CDC affirmed that there is no reason for the fully vaccinated to go around wearing masks. It isn’t necessary. If you are vaccinated, the likelihood that you will become deathly sick is almost nil.
    The authorities should focus on the unvaccinated and stop whipping up panic.

  3. It doesn’t look anything like last summer. People are not dying in anything like the same numbers and we have efficacious vaccines. Take a chill pill. We are in a much better situation than last summer, if you are vaccinated.

  4. Masks are optional at my workplace for those who can provide proof of vaccination. But I continue to wear a mask because (1) someone in our office just got a “break-through” infection, and (2) I was at Albertsons when someone in line said he was from Florida and that “they don’t do masks or shots”. In the parking lot I noticed his large RV had Florida plates. A tourist vector.

    Here’s the latest batch of data (Friday’s technical briefing 19) from Public Health England (PHE) regarding vaccinations and the delta variant. PHE is one of the very few government organizations that is fully transparent, providing a very high level of detail in their reports. You can look at the numbers yourself here:
    DELTA CASE NUMBERS: Most of the delta positive cases are currently unvaccinated people (53.0%), with 10.4% being fully vaccinated. That said, these numbers have been changing dramatically since early June, with an small net decrease in unvaccinated cases (-1.9%) and a rather large increase in fully vaccinated cases (+7.5%).
    HOSPITALIZATIONS FROM DELTA: Overnight stays in the hospital have mostly been unvaccinated people, but since monitoring started in June these numbers tending toward a reversal. Cases of unvaccinated people with overnight stays in the hospital have dropped (-7.4%), and fully vaccinated hospitalizations have dramatically increased (+17.7%).
    460 people have died from the delta variant as of Friday’s report, with 224 of them being fully vaccinated (48.7%) and only 165 being unvaccinated (35.9%). Partially vaccinated account of 65 deaths (14.1%).
    Based on the data provided in the latest technical briefing, mortality for fully vaccinated people is 0.10%, while mortality for unvaccinated people is slightly lower at 0.07%, for only 0.03% for partially vaccinated.
    The vaccines are failing against the delta variant in real-world England. While the majority of positive delta cases and hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people, those numbers are dropping and a fully vaccinated individuals are making up a larger proportion of cases and hospitalizations. Most concerning are the outcomes, with fully vaccinated individuals making up the majority of deaths (48.7% fully vaccinated vs 35.9% unvaccinated). I’ve been criticized as being misleading by presenting the numbers this way, which is why I’m now including the mortality rates (0.10% fully vaccinated vs. 0.07% unvaccinated). Either way you look at it, there vaccines are simply not providing the expect protection to certain populations of fully vaccinated individuals, which thus far appears to be those over 50 years of age. Links to pre-existing conditions are not apparent from the data. My suspicion is that unvaccinated people are still treating COVID as a threat and taking precautions, while fully vaccinated people have returned to a pre-COVID mentality and are now paying a price. If you think what’s happening in England can’t or won’t happen here, you are fooling yourself—or someone fooled you.

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