The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported one additional death of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
The individual resided in the South County unincorporated area and was over 70 years of age with underlying health conditions.
As of Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 16 new cases, with an asterisk noting, “Today’s numbers have not yet been updated to reflect the State data error. These numbers represent an underreporting of cases.”
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 7,083, with 6,761 recoveries, 73 deaths and 249 cases still active.
The reported COVID-19 cases the county had for Wednesday included three positive COVID-19 cases in Lompoc, two cases in Santa Barbara, two cases in Santa Maria and two cases in the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and city of Guadalupe.
Isla Vista, the Santa Ynez Valley and the community of Orcutt each reported one COVID-19 case.
The South County unincorporated area, Goleta, the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota and the federal prison in Lompoc all did not report any new positive COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Henning Ansorg, the county health officer, issued an order continuing the closure of certain indoor business operations, including gym and fitness centers, places of worship, protests, personal care services, malls, etc.
In addition, Dr. Ansorg added in-person higher education, parties and receptions, rodeos and public equestrian events and organized sports to the list of physical locations that must be closed.
Gatherings remain prohibited, and exemptions include: a work setting while maintaining physical distance; outdoor recreational activities while maintaining physical distance; congregate living situations; outdoor worship services; outdoor wedding ceremonies; outdoor cultural ceremonies and outdoor protests while maintaining physical distance.
Researchers in Florida have discovered the potential of the virus’ ability to spread through the air up to 16 feet, according to multiple reports.
The scientists isolated live virus from aerosols collected at a distance of seven to 16 feet from patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
The 16 feet exceeds the recommended distance of six feet in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
That being said, county public health officials still recommend maintaining a six foot distance in public places. A public health official for the county stated that until spread at 16 feet is proven, the recommendation stands and a six-foot distance is even better with a mask.
In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a coronavirus vaccine approval for use on Wednesday. He claimed the vaccine worked on his daughter, according to numerous reports.
The county public health official said that because the vaccine has not completed phase three of the trial (proving that it can prevent symptomatic coronavirus disease), it is unclear whether it will work, and statements made about it now are risky.