Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

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Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier
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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County remains in the Purple Tier with a lower adjusted case rate, California announced Tuesday.

The county's adjusted case rate is 16.9 per 100,000 population and testing positivity of 6%. This lowered adjusted case rate allows schools serving TK through 6th grade, with approved safety plans, to return to in-person learning as early as Wednesday.

As local metrics continue to trend downward, the need for more testing could improve weekly adjusted case rate leading to further reopening in the near future, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) said in a press release.

In order to keep schools open, PHD states parents and schools will need to ensure daily screening of kids, keeping them home when not feeling well, limiting gathering with people outside of their households, maintaining social distancing outside of their home, wearing face coverings, and following isolation and quarantine guidance when a family member or close contact tests positive.

“COVID-19 is largely transmitted in the community and not in a TK-6 school setting. When everyone does their part to follow the safety guidelines and protocols, our children can return to school in a safe environment for themselves and for school staff,” said PHD Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg.

Dr. Ansorg continued to state testing is critical to allow some students to return to in-person learning as more than 50% of transmissions happen unknowingly because the infected person does not have any symptoms yet and is already spreading the virus.

In order for the county to move into the Red Tier, testing volume must remain high to lower the case rate. Community testing sites are available throughout the county. Many sites are open until 7 p.m., allow walk-ins and have no wait times. Turnaround times for tests have also decreased.  More information on testing locations can be found here:

Tuesday's Numbers

On Tuesday, PHD reported two COVID-19 deaths and 64 new cases. The individuals were 50-69 and 70+ years of age. Both individuals had underlying health conditions and neither death was associated with an outbreak at a congregate-care site. The individuals resided in the city of Santa Barbara and the unincorporated area of Goleta.

There have now been 398 deaths.

There are currently 435 active cases in the county. Of those, 76 are hospitalized including 17 in the ICU.

For information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit  or reach the County Call Center for vaccine information by calling 2-1-1 and selecting option 4. This line is available 7 days a week between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Voice of Reason Feb 24, 2021 01:19 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Sac I think your looking for a "gotcha" where there is none. If it's raining outside and the rest of the town is getting wet outside in the rain, but you and your family are dry inside a building, then you and your family walk outside, will you get wet? Will the % of townspeople that are wet stay the same, increase or decrease when you and your family walks outside?

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 12:55 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

VOR - Oh, ok then this should be easy for you. Show me the cite from the CDC stating that closed schools cause an increase in COVID transmission. I'll be waiting!

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 12:42 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

VOR - another point - kids in open schools are in "class" the same time as kids in distance learning schools. So, it's not like closed school kids are out running around spreading the virus more because they're at home. Open school kids are outside playing just as much than their closed school counterparts. Your theory assumes closed school kids are outside spreading the virus all day, which is not true. Again, look at the dropping rate over the summer when ALL kids were out of school ALL day.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 12:36 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

VOR - again, your little word problem relies on a the faulty assumption that the only factor is the schools. Once again, look at the facts, not hypotheses. Once again, the numbers show a general decrease (over the summer between July and September) when all schools were closed and again a general decrease over the winter (January to now) with most of our schools still closed.

Open schools having low transmission rate does not equal closed schools causing the transmission rate to increase. It's freaking simple logic man.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 12:31 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

DUKE - yes, the gatherings caused the spike, I didn't mean to imply the schools did. What I was saying is that, the numbers went down even while school was in session and remote (most schools at least). Also, in the summer, when NO schools were open, the numbers went down. So, that should dispel the idea that closed schools cause an increase in numbers.

Voice of Reason Feb 24, 2021 12:23 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Sac, for example, say the rate of transmission in the general community is 5% and for those fortunate enough to go to school the rate of transmission is 3%. If there were two towns of 1,000 people, in Town A no one was in school, in Town B, 100 out of 1,000 are in school. What are the transmission rates for each town?

dukemunson Feb 24, 2021 11:52 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Wait a sec sac! (say that ten times fast)! I don’t see the increased connection to school... I see a connection to large gatherings (thanksgiving/Christmas). And since school has “resumed” the numbers have plunged in the last month, not increased.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 11:37 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

VOR - having a higher rate when schools are closed is not the same as saying closed schools CAUSE increased spread. You can't determine that from simply knowing that open schools are not a significant source of spread. Again, look at the overall numbers for the US. The numbers went down over the summer, not up (after July 4 spike).

Voice of Reason Feb 24, 2021 11:33 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Sac, if you've accepted the CDC backed data/studies that show transmission is lower amongst people who attend in-person schools, it is simple math that by preventing a portion of the population from accessing this area of lower transmission (schools) the population as a whole will have a higher rate of transmission than if a portion of the population was allowed to access the area of lower transmission.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 11:30 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

DUKE - "But schools aren't Increasing spread...and their closure is wrecking havoc on society!" - Bingo! Yes, I agree 100% that open schools will not increase the spread. But, now VOR is doubling down so I had to address that lol!

dukemunson Feb 24, 2021 11:26 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Sac - I'll admit that definitive proof is going to be hard to come by. It's hard to determine to determine the causation of why town X with school in place has less community spread than community Z with school not in session. They are showing (seemingly everywhere) that there is less spread in school than the community at large, and that places with school in person have less spread in general. It does all tie up with the community spread at large though...but there is seemingly a consensus (other than teachers/teachers union) that school can and SHOULD be open as it's not a meaningful cause of spread (and obviously its closure is having disastrous effects for kids and the community at large). So I will concede to perhaps poor wording as proof will be perhaps impossible to truly determine. But schools aren't Increasing spread...and their closure is wrecking havoc on society!

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 11:21 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

LETMEGO - Yeah, I get that schools are low-risk, but closing them doesn't necessarily increase spread. My kids are at the beach, un-masked, because it's wide open and low risk of spread. I don't think we've seen a single outbreak caused by playing at the beach. They stay away from their friends and are out in the open. Same with hanging out with kids in their pods. They are outside only (no hanging out inside, no sleepovers, etc) and are masked when unable to keep their distance. All these things will occur whether or not school is open or closed. I just don't see any evidence of closed schools causing increased spread.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 11:29 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

VOR and DUKE - just look at the numbers. Over the summer (after the 4th of July spike) all schools were closed (summer break) and our numbers went down, until mid September-October when they started going up again until the massive spike post-Thanksgiving. Once school resumed in early January, while still being closed, the numbers have been increasing steadily. So, just looking at the overall numbers, they have dropped when school is closed, not increased.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 11:18 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

VOR - show me proof that closing schools increased the spread. I agree that there is less spread at school, but closed schools "leading to increased spread?" Not sure I buy that without some evidence. Kids who aren't at school are at home, not out all day interacting with strangers while un-masked.

letmego Feb 24, 2021 11:11 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

SACJON. Who really knows why, except: schools are a controlled environment. The rest of life is not. If you keep kids out of school they are more likely to congregate outside of school, which is less controlled. The kids I see hanging out at the beach with their friends aren't wearing masks. But at school, kids are masked.

Voice of Reason Feb 24, 2021 11:04 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Actually Sac, Duke is right. With kids and teachers in school, where there is less spread, the community as a whole will benefit. When schools are closed you're denying a lot of people access to a "safe" place, exposing them more to the general community, resulting in overall increased rates of spread.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 10:55 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

DUKE - yeah, I know there is less spread in school, but you said closed schools are increasing the spread. That's different. Just because there is not much spread in open schools, doesn't mean that closing them would increase the spread.

dukemunson Feb 24, 2021 10:49 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Sac - There is a lot of documentation and studies showing less spread happening in school. Here’s via
NPR. I can see the word “proven” being perhaps difficult to definitively accept... so change it to “shown” if you prefer.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 10:17 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

DUKE - I don't know about that. I'm with you on opening, but I don't see how keeping them closed increased the spread. I think it was more adults being childish and insisting on having parties, visiting friends/family over the holidays, etc. I haven't seen any studies proving that closed schools caused increased numbers. Do you have something showing that? Be interested to see it!

ConservativeSB Feb 24, 2021 07:50 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Bingo! Now we are finding out that 40% of prison inmates have been vaccinated but my 65 year old in laws have been told it could be a couple months

letmego Feb 24, 2021 02:46 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

They would not, actually. For quite some time, the county case rate and the South Coast case rate have been virtually identical. Only during the big peak did they diverge. In fact, our case rate has been almost the same as Los Angeles for awhile also.

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 04:13 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

CONSERVEATIVESB - this is exhausting. I never said anything about inmates getting the vaccine. I'm ONLY talking about your claim that the vaccine is not a human right. That is just not true. All humans (yeah, even ones in jail) have basic, established rights. The right to access to medicine (the right to health) is a human right. Therefore, access to the vaccine is a human right. If medicine was not a human right, why would they have doctors in jail? Priority of the vaccine is another question, but whether access to the covid vaccine is a human right, is pretty much a done deal.

ConservativeSB Feb 24, 2021 04:00 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

No. I do not believe getting a vaccine is a human right. And I certainly do not believe inmates should be prioritized over those that are actually at risk of the disease (over the age of 65). The right to life does not have anything to do with a 99% survivable disease. I say that life is a privilege because there are many who do not get the chance to live it. But the good thing in your eyes is their murderer just got a Covid vaccine...

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 03:53 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

CONSERVATIVESB - wow, that was some world class back peddling and spinning. You said: "Getting a vaccine is not a human right" - Did you not say that? You did. The right to life and liberty is not just a human right, but an American right. Do you truly believe access to life saving medicine is not a human right?

As for "pro life" (you mean, anti-choice), you cannot say that life is a privilege and then say women can't have a choice about abortion. That is saying...... wait for it.... LIFE IS A RIGHT.

ConservativeSB Feb 24, 2021 03:44 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

You’re conflating on a grand scale. It is a privilege to live. Yes I am pro life. Should a 30 year old in prison for armed robbery of a 64 year old get the vaccine before the 64 year old? Simple yes or no?

sacjon Feb 24, 2021 12:50 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

CONSERVATIVE - WRONG. Getting vaccinated against a deadly pandemic IS absolutely a human right, just as is access to clean water, medicine, etc. You think it should be a "privilege" to live? I bet you're pro-life, right?

ConservativeSB Feb 24, 2021 12:40 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Getting a vaccine is not a human right for starters. And prisoners have been caught on video multiple times purposely giving Covid to each other. There are consequences to being in prison and when prison inmates are given priority over law abiding citizens the system is backwards. They’re at higher risk due to their poor decision making. An inmate who robs a 64 year old at gunpoint shouldn’t be getting a vaccine before the 64 year old victim.

PitMix Feb 24, 2021 11:30 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Yeah, we should let those thugs crammed into dormitories with no escape get sick and die, right? Whereas those 65-yr olds who can socially distance and get their groceries delivered should be first in line for shots. Where does it say that you give up your human rights after you commit a crime?

State probably figures that giving prisoners the vaccine is cheaper than trying to care for them if they are sick and paying settlements to the families if they die. As a conservative, you probably appreciate the tax savings.

dukemunson Feb 24, 2021 10:11 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

GTree - Who are the domestic terrorists again? Someone on a jog without a mask or the teachers union ignoring the scientific consensus that schools need to be open for the safety and benefit of all and still sabotaging it. It’s obviously a ridiculous phrase for either... but I’d say the teachers union is closer to the definition of that phrase then someone on a walk on the beach without a mask.

haskelslocal Feb 23, 2021 05:45 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Stop paying a salary and schools will open next day. Of course we pay property taxes to support this nonsense with guaranteed incomes as the private sector shutters. All the restaurants, gyms, salons etc., having to tough it out on their own. 16 out of 100,000 people. 1.6 out of 10,000 people. Thats 1 out of 6,250 people. That's like being at a Gaucho game in the Thunderdome and getting your name called to win a car. You're not winning the car. Stop the insanity.

haskelslocal Feb 24, 2021 10:33 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Hi Thomas. Article above. Second paragraph first sentence. These are the stated county case rates. Not death rates, not infection rates, the stated rates from SB County health on those that have taken a PCR test and been found to be positive. It does not take into account that positivity for SarsCov2 is not indicative of having a symptomatic expression that could be medically concluded as having a diagnosis for the disease Covid19.

haskelslocal Feb 24, 2021 10:30 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Apparently you chose not to read the article. Or follow the definitions created for tier structure. See article above. First sentence, second paragraph.

bosco Feb 24, 2021 09:41 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

I don't believe the death rate is not an appropriate measure we should be using. It gets the most attention because it's dramatic, but it's a lot more complicated. COVID deaths are due to many factors including age and pre-existing conditions. Personally, I am a lot more concerned about potential long term health effects than death. I don't believe this Pandemic has ever been about saving lives. It has much more to do with healthcare capacity. We came very close overwhelming our local healthcare system. With the healthcare system strained, people are not getting the health care they need. This puts everyone at risk and decreases overall community health and wellness.

That said, the school closures (and arguably other closures) have not been done effectively. We have known for months that closing schools causes more harm than good and the risk to community infection is minimal and manageable.

Voice of Reason Feb 24, 2021 08:36 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

ConservativeSB is right Sac. With the course of the virus being similar in states and countries that didn't impose such harsh measures the "incredible amount of effort" and sacrifice we've made here in CA did not help us avoid further infection (and actually prevented our schools from opening). In healthy people those "long-term effects " (which is crazy to proclaim long-term anything for such a new virus) seem to be the exception and not the norm. Anecdotally everyone I know whose contracted the virus is perfectly fine now including someone with ALS. Some definitely got sick, others had no discernable symptoms at all. In Haskels accurate examples on the statistics, if you don't want to "win the car", just stay home. Everyone at the Gaucho game wanted to be there.

a-1614182284 Feb 24, 2021 07:58 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Haskels, check your arithmetic! U.S. population is 328,000,000. 500,000+ have died. That is well over 1 in 600. (Not 1 in 6,000.)

Thomas John Feb 24, 2021 07:02 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

HLocal - Your numbers are off by 10. In the US it's 154 per 100,000 people. So roughly 1 in 600.

mm1970 Feb 24, 2021 06:22 AM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

Blah blah.

Sbunified elementary schools are opening next week. The teachers are teaching and have been this whole time, I'm not going to stop paying them.

ConservativeSB Feb 23, 2021 07:20 PM
Santa Barbara County Remains in Purple Tier

If that is the case, why are Florida and California’s virtually the same with drastically different approaches? The SECOND death in SB county was on hospice care. I’m willing to give some room when it’s diabetes. But hospice? Come on man


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