There continues to be a high level of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
The department reported that BA.5 is now the dominant strain in Southern California and the nation.
The weekly average of reported PCR-confirmed cases has recently decreased by 4.9%, according to the health department. But the department noted there’s an underreporting of cases in Santa Barbara County. The department said the reason is an increased amount of rapid antigen home testing, which often is not reported to the health department.
Meanwhile, COVID-19-related hospitalizations have been increasing, although ICU admissions have been low, according to the health department.
There have been six deaths reported over the last week, the department reported.
— Katherine Zehnder