Twenty New Community COVID-19 Cases Reported
By edhat staff
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) reports 20 new COVID-19 cases reaching a total of 1,624 during a press conference Wednesday.
All twenty new cases are within the community and are not part of the outbreak in the Federal Penitentiary in Lompoc, which claims 971 of the total cases.
Of the 653 community cases, 82 are quarantined at home, 28 are hospitalized with 10 in the intensive care unit (ICU), and 20 are pending information.
Overall, 17,289 tests have been conducted. Of all positive cases, approximately 86% have fully recovered within the county.
PHD reminded residents about the new mandatory face-covering order that went into effect on Tuesday. The order requires everyone within the county to wear a mask when inside of or in line to enter any and all businesses; when using public transportation, a private car service, or a ride-sharing vehicle; and all businesses must require employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a face-covering at the workplace and at off-site work locations.
County Supervisor Gregg Hart addressed the new order stating, "we need to reopen the community and be safe."
He understood the objections raised but stated we are all collectively dealing with a rapidly evolving health crisis and this order is an appropriate response to the reality that more businesses are opening and people are mixing more than before.
PHD Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said they have seen an increase in situations where people are not social distancing that caused the mandatory face covering order.
While understanding the scientific evidence for and against wearing a face mask, Dr. Ansorg said there is significant evidence that a face covering can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, he advised the most powerful way to prevent the spread is to frequently wash your hands and socially distance with a face mask.
Dr. Ansorg cautioned against lessening restrictions further until two weeks have passed so PHD can analyze the results of the recent changes.