Santa Barbara County on Tuesday reported 32 new COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, the county reported one death.
The decedent was in the 50-69 age group, had underlying conditions and lived in the area of Lompoc, Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village. The death was not associated with a congregate care site, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
Twelve of Tuesday’s new COVID-19 cases were in Santa Maria, and nine were in Santa Barbara and unincorporated Mission Canyon.
The others included three in Goleta, three in the unincorporated Goleta Valley and Gaviota, two in the Santa Ynez Valley and two in unincorporated North County areas and the city of Guadalupe.
One case is pending.
The case numbers report comes at a time when concern has grown over the Delta variant. This week, the public health department advised everyone, including fully vaccinated people, to wear masks inside grocery or retail stores, theaters and family entertainment centers.
Los Angeles County issued a mask mandate for all people in indoor public spaces last weekend, but Santa Barbara County at this point is limiting its guidelines to a recommendation.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said businesses are urged to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses.
“Workplaces must comply with Cal/OSHA requirements, and fully vaccinated employees are encouraged to wear masks indoors if their employer has not confirmed the vaccination status of those around them,” according to a news release from the health department.
“It remains critically important that we continue to practice safety guidelines such as staying home if feeling ill, wearing a mask in public indoor settings, avoiding crowded events and practicing good hand hygiene,” said Dr. Henning Ansorg, county health officer.
For masks to work properly, they need to completely cover people’s nose and mouth, the health department noted.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department explained it will revisit its mask recommendation in the coming weeks as it monitors transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths and increasing vaccination rates throughout the region.
Santa Barbara County data is updated on weekdays at publichealthsbc.org, which is where the News-Press gets its daily COVID-19 numbers.
“We have a method of preventing severe illness and hospitalization from the COVID-19 Delta variant which we know is effective, and that is getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the Santa Barbara public health director. “It remains critical for protection against infection, especially with circulating variants.”