The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 59 new daily COVID-19 cases and no new COVID-19 deaths on Friday.
Friday’s daily cases bring the county’s total number of COVID-19 cases up to 12,866 and the number of still infectious cases to 643, according to Public Health’s daily update.
The plurality of Friday’s daily cases, 13, were located in Lompoc. Twelve were located in Santa Maria, eight were in Santa Barbara, seven were in Orcutt, three were in Goleta, another three were in the South County Unincorporated Area, two were in the Santa Ynez Valley, and another two were in the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota.
There were also two daily cases in the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama, and the city of Guadalupe.
Locations for seven of Friday’s daily cases are still pending.
Of the 643 still infectious cases in Santa Barbara County, 168 are in Santa Maria. Some 125 are in Santa Barbara, 105 are in Lompoc, 52 are in Orcutt, 33 are in the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota, 26 are in Goleta, 23 are in the Santa Ynez Valley, and 11 are in Isla Vista.
There are also 17 still infectious cases in the unincorporated area of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama, and the city of Guadalupe.
The locations of 54 still infectious cases are still pending.
According to the Santa Barbara County community data dashboard, 65% of the county’s hospital beds are currently in use. Of its 651 total beds, 420 are in use and 64 of those are for COVID-19 patients.
The county’s ICU capacity was at 38% as of Friday afternoon. Of its 91 staffed ICU beds, 56 are in use and 13 of those are for COVID-19 patients.
About 15% of the county’s ventilators are in use. Of the 131 total ventilators in the county, 19 are in use, and seven are for COVID-19 patients.
During a press conference on Friday evening, 2nd District Supervisor and Board of Supervisors Chair Gregg Hart warned against businesses disobeying Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order.
“Businesses that continue to violate the public health order face escalating serious consequences for this action,” he said.
These consequences include California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and other state license agencies revoking licenses. Mr. Hart noted that environmental health service inspectors “are out in the field looking for violations and working directly with businesses to correct violations.”
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso said that the county’s positivity rate recently hit the red tier percentage of 6%, which hasn’t happened since the end of the COVID-19 wave over the summer.
“This means that we have significant spread of disease in our county,” she said.
Over the last month, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased sixfold, Dr. Do-Reynoso said, with 64 cases in the hospitalizations reported on Friday.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Jan Koegler discussed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that received emergency use authorization approval in the U.S. by the Federal Drug Administration on Friday night.
She said that shipments of the vaccine are expected to begin next week and possibly the Moderna vaccine the week after.
“All hospitals in our county are expected to receive and start vaccinating their staff within the next two weeks,” she said.
During the meeting, Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, said that he and his colleagues in Congress are working on an economic relief package that he believes can be passed in the coming week.
“I’m happy to report that we are on the cusp of finalizing that package, and I am hopeful and optimistic that next week, we will pass an economic stimulus package,” he said.