The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has distributed 14,000 at-home testing kits and is encouraging people to get their vaccines and booster shots after the confirmation of four omicron variant cases.
As reported Thursday in the News-Press, the cases involved four people under 30, three of whom live in South County. One person received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and the other three didn’t have vaccination records in CAIR, the state immunization site.
Test kits are being given away from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. today at the Public Health Department, 315 Camino Del Remedio, Santa Barbara, and the Lompoc Health Care Center, 301 N. R St.
In addition, “vaccination services are widely available at public sites, pharmacies, physician offices, etc,” the Santa Barbara Public Health Department told the News-Press Thursday in an email. “COVID-19 vaccines have been effective against earlier variants of the virus, and so far have shown to be effective against the omicron variant as well, especially against serious illness and death.”
The department also addressed changes in guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC is now saying people who test positive for COVID-19 can isolate for five days instead of the previous 10 days and has listed other new guidelines.
“The CDC bases its recommendations on its study of how variants behave,” the department told the News-Press. “This recent change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.
“The PHD is currently awaiting further guidance from CDPH on the new CDC recommendation as it is possible that CDPH’s recommendation may be modified,” according to the county health department.