Santa Barbara County records 89 new cases
Officials from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office reported that 13 additional inmates at the Main Jail tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of active cases in the jail to 60 infections.
In total, 83 inmates tested positive during this latest outbreak in the Main Jail, with 23 inmates having recovered, Undersheriff Solomon Linver told the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. Since August, five custody staff at the jail have tested positive, two of which have recovered.
During the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Undersheriff Linver said of the inmates who tested positive, 24 were fully vaccinated and only seven were symptomatic. He added that three inmates were given antibody treatment.
Undersheriff Linver told Supervisors that contact tracing efforts are still underway, but the Sheriff’s Office believes it is likely the virus was brought in by a staff member of the jail.
In order to keep the general jail population safe, Undersheriff Linver explained that upon arrival to the jail, inmates are tested and placed in an inmate reception center for a 10-day quarantine before being released to the general jail population. When an inmate tests positive, they are moved to a separate area of the jail to isolate among other positive inmates and recover. Those who are exposed to a positive inmate are also separated from the general population and tested.
In addition to these measures for inmates, officials have enacted daily testing for jail staff during every shift, Undersheriff Linver said Tuesday. The county’s Public Health Department also plans to start surveillance testing among staff at the jail by choosing random staff members to take PCR tests to track the spread of disease, Raquel Zick, the Sheriff’s Office public information officer, told the News-Press on Tuesday.
According to a news release, 62% of custody staff is vaccinated and about 35% of the current inmate population is vaccinated.
On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 89 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the current number of active infections up to 502 cases.
Officials reported 21 new infections in Santa Maria, 17 in Lompoc and the communities of Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village, 14 in the unincorporated Goleta Valley and Gaviota and 13 in Santa Barbara. Elsewhere, officials reported seven cases in Orcutt, three cases in the south coast unincorporated areas including the City of Carpinteria, three in Goleta, two in the north county unincorporated areas including the City of Guadalupe, one case in Isla Vista and one case in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Forty-nine people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, and 14 of those patients were recovering in the ICU.
According to the county’s latest vaccination data, which has a one day lag, 75.9% of eligible 12 and older residents have received at least one shot, and 67.6% of that population is fully vaccinated. Of the entire county population, 57.2% of people were fully vaccinated on Monday.