Santa Barbara County Confirms 9 Cases of Coronavirus
During a teleconference on Thursday evening, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) officials confirmed an additional positive case for COVID-19 bringing the total to 9 confirmed cases within the county.
An additional Public Health Order is excepted to be issued that will require people over 75 years of age, or people over 70 years of age with underlying health conditions, to shelter in their homes. It will also prohibit gatherings of 10 people or more.
A shelter in place mandate for all residents has not been issued because there is no evidence showing it would slow the spread of the virus due to the current level of local infections, said Dr. Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer. "However, this could change very rapidly. If we see an uptick in the area, we will resort to a more strict order," he said.
The order will reiterate the direction for bars, wineries, nightclubs, movie theatres, and other non-essential businesses to close. As well as restaurants to discontinue in-house dining and serve takeout or delivery food only. Essential businesses such as pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, and gas stations are allowed to remain open.
Approximately 80% of people infected will exhibit very mild symptoms that would not require hospital care. It's important for everyone to stay home so as not to spread the virus, said Paige Batson, PHD Deputy Director for Community Health.
The teleconference quickly touched on treating those who are homeless in the area stating there is frequent monitoring. Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms is quickly tested and removed from congregate settings, said Batson.
Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) confirmed Thursday afternoon that one of the 9 positive cases is a currently enrolled student.
"The student in question is 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 the student, including friends, family members, or health care professionals. PHD will monitor them and take appropriate measures, including testing for infection if needed," said SBCC President Utpal K. Goswami.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) is confirming five (5) more positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, in addition to case #3, shared Wednesday evening. This makes eight (8) total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County at this time.
- Case #3—in their 60s, resides in North County, and is a family member of case #1.
- Case #4—in their 20s and resides in South County
- Case #5—in their 50s and resides in South County
- Case #6—in their 30s and resides in North County
- Case #7—in their 30s and resides in North County
- Case #8—in their 50s and resides in South County
PHD is taking steps to identify persons who may have had close contact with these people, including friends, family members, or health care professionals. PHD is conducting a thorough investigation to determine how the latest five cases contracted COVID-19.
Mandated social distancing measures are in place 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.
“We are urging our community to stay home when they are sick and practice consistent social distancing practices, shared Van Do-Reynoso, Public Health Director for Santa Barbara County. “It is critical that we all take the necessary steps to slow the spread of this illness in our community.”
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 people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough
- Keep surfaces clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant
Santa Barbara County Public Health: www.PublicHealthSBC.org, Twitter and Facebook
County of Santa Barbara: www.CountyofSB.org, Twitter, Facebook
County Information Line: (833) 688-5551, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
2-1-1 Call Center: Dial 211 or outside the area, call (800) 400-1572
Recorded Information Line: (805) 681-4373
Behavioral Wellness 24/7 Access Line: (888) 868-1649