There continues to be a high level of virus transmission in Santa Barbara County. BA.5 continues to be the dominant strain in the southern west coast including California and the nation.
The weekly average of reported PCR-confirmed cases has decreased by 7.7%, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. But the department said there’s an underreporting of cases because of the increased rapid antigen home tests, which often go unreported.
The COVID-19 community levels have decreased from high to medium in Santa Barbara County, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker). This reflects the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, new COVID-19 related hospital admissions per 100,000 population, and the percent of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. This downgrading is being seen across several jurisdictions across California.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 related hospitalizations have been increasing, although ICU admissions have been low.
There have been three deaths reported over the last week, according to the county Public Health Department.
— Katherine Zehnder