Santa Barbara County Could Reach Orange Tier in 10 Days
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara County Public Health officials state if the recent decline in COVID-19 case numbers continues, the county could reach the orange tier in 10 days.
To be eligible for the orange tier, the county must average fewer than 28 new cases per day. The recent seven-day average of new cases pers episode is 25.
"This is really really good news," said Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, although an uptick due to Easter and spring break activities is anticipated.
If the downward trend continues, Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg anticipates the county will be eligible for the orange tier in 10 days which makes it possible to increase capacities at restaurants and live entertainment venues.
Vaccine Administration Increases
Santa Barbara County has been allocated 222,910 vaccine doses and approximately 83.9% have been administered with the rest committed to upcoming appointments.
Approximately 45% of the county's population over the age of 16 has received at least one dose of the vaccine with another 15% with scheduled appointments.
Dr. Ansorg stressed the importance for herd immunity stating the county would need 85% of residents to be immune to the virus either by vaccination or recovery from infection. He estimates the county could reach 60% by the end of April but encourages residents to encourage friends and neighbors who are not yet vaccinated.
Vaccine Appointments and Opportunities
The Public Health Department's week-long COVID-19 clinic starting Monday in Santa Barbara is currently full with 9,930 appointments reserved. However, there are still appointments available through pharmacies, hospitals, and primary care physicians.
Starting April 15, a mobile clinic will bring vaccines to vulnerable communities. There are teams in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc that have partnered with churches, housing developments, agriculture sectors and more to help people get vaccinated.
The Public Health Department is also beginning a phased rollout of the My Turn scheduling platform offered by the State of California. The My Turn tool is part of an effort by state health leaders to organize California’s broad reaching vaccination drive, consisting of public and private health systems, pharmacies, hospitals, community health clinics, pop-up sites, and mobile sites.
The Public Health Department will offer a Johnson and Johnson vaccine clinic in Santa Maria on Friday, April 16, 2021 at Allan Hancock College. Appointments will be released on Monday, April 12, 2021 at https://myturn.ca.gov/.
First-dose clinics moving forward will be released via the My Turn portal. Persons needing a second dose will receive an email one week before their second dose is due. They may also call 2-1-1 and select option 4 one week before their second dose is due if they need assistance scheduling. Those needing a second dose will not need to register for My Turn.
“Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. The State has said if we continue on the positive trajectory we are currently on with decreasing cases and hospitalizations we can fully reopen schools, businesses, and resume our most enjoyed activities soon. Everyone 16 years of age and over is eligible to receive the vaccinations that have been shown to be very effective and safe,” said Dr. Ansorg. “Please continue to wear a mask, stay at least six feet from others, and if you test positive, please isolate immediately. We are almost there.”
The Santa Barbara County Call Center remains open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Call 2-1-1 and press option 4 for vaccination assistance. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination, how to schedule appointments for the vaccine and for information and updates on the vaccine, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/.