Santa Barbara County did not meet the criteria to qualify for the yellow tier this week, leaving the region stuck in the orange tier of COVID-19 restrictions for yet another week.
To qualify for the yellow tier, the county must maintain a case rate of less than two per 100,000 for two weeks straight. This week, the county’s case rate sits at exactly two, missing the first week of qualification by one tenth of a percent, according to public health data.
The county has been in the orange tier of restrictions since April 21. At this rate, it’s uncertain whether or not the county will meet the necessary criteria to move into the yellow tier before the entire tier system is dissolved by the state on June 15.
On Tuesday, the county reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing the county’s active case total to 53. No new deaths were reported.
Santa Maria reported nine new cases on Tuesday, and Orcutt reported four new cases. Two new cases were reported in Santa Barbara and one new infection was reported in Goleta. All other areas reported no new cases on Tuesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that 50% of all U.S. adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a milestone victory in the county’s efforts to achieve herd immunity.
The nationwide vaccination effort is also playing out in Santa Barbara County, where 42.6% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated. Of the county’s 12 and older population who are vaccine eligible, 62.3% have received at least one dose and 50.3% of that population is fully vaccinated as of Tuesday.
Though the county’s hospitalization rate has steadily trended downwards in recent weeks, nine people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, including four who are recovering in the ICU.