The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department held its first walk-up clinic at the Earl Warren Showgrounds Thursday, offering community members an opportunity to receive a vaccine without needing an appointment.
Public health officials have expanded their walk-up clinic options in recent weeks, hoping to address barriers to vaccination. Last week, the department held a walk-up clinic at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
During an appearance on a local television network, Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the public health director, said anyone who wants to get a vaccine can just show up to one of the walk-up clinics and health officials “will gladly offer you a vaccine.”
The department is also ramping its vaccination efforts in the county by providing a mobile vaccination clinic on UCSB’s campus this Thursday. Public Health officials will park their mobile clinic in Lot 25 next to the Student Health Service Building and provide vaccines exclusively to students on campus. Appointments are limited and students can register through their Student Health Services portal.
As of Friday, 46.6% of county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 32.9% are fully vaccinated.
Across the county, 38 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death was reported Friday. The individual who died resided in a congregate care site in the Santa Ynez Valley, was over the age of 70 and had underlying conditions.
Nine new cases were reported in Santa Barbara, seven new cases were reported in Santa Maria and six new cases were reported in Lompoc and the North County unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama and New Cuyama and Guadalupe Friday. Goleta reported four new cases and all other areas reported fewer than three new cases.
Of the 38 new cases Friday, 14 were among adolescents age 17 and under. With kids going back to school, Dr. Van Do-Reynoso said officials are noticing a slight uptick in cases among 12 to 17 year olds, but the county is not anywhere close to the case rates they saw in January, February or March.
At Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, 10 ventilators are currently in use and 101 remain available. Cottage Health is currently treating three patients with COVID-19, according to a news release.