The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 28 cases of COVID-19 on Friday and no new deaths.
Officials reported seven new cases in Lompoc and the communities of Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village, six new cases in Santa Barbara and the unincorporated area of Mission Canyon and five new infections in Santa Maria. Two new cases were reported in Orcutt, the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota and in Isla Vista. Three cases were pending on Friday.
As of Friday, the county’s active case rate stood at 163 cases still infectious.
As the presence of the Delta variant grows in Santa Barbara County, officials from the Public Health Department promised to remain vigilant in a statement released Friday.
“As we now approach the two week period following the 4th of July holiday weekend, we are seeing the expected increase in cases due to extensive traveling and mingling,” Dr. Henning Ansorg, the county’s health officer, said in a statement. “It remains critically important that we continue to practice safety guidelines such as staying home if feeling ill, wear a mask in public indoor settings, avoid crowded events and practice good hand hygiene.”
The Delta variant has quickly become the prominent variant in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control has labeled it a “variant of concern” due to its high rate of transmissibility.
There have also been a number of “breakthrough” infections associated with the variant, meaning those who have been immunized with a vaccine still have the possibility of contracting the virus, according to the public health department. However, the department said that fully vaccinated people who are contracting the Delta variant are not suffering from severe illness or facing hospitalization.
“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,” Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, the county’s public health director, said in a statement. “If you are eligible and have not yet been vaccinated, it is critical to get your first shot as soon as possible.”
As of Friday, 60.3% of the county’s eligible 12 and older population was fully vaccinated, and 68.4% of that population had received at least one shot. Of the entire county’s population, 51% of people are fully vaccinated.