The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has confirmed six more positive cases of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County, up from three cases as of Wednesday night.
The PHD issued an update on its website Thursday night listing five new cases, though on a conference call with elected officials a short time later Public Health Director Dr. Von Do-Reynoso confirmed the sixth new case.
“The number of cases in Santa Barbara is a moving target — it is fastly changing,” she said.
A total of six confirmed cases are located in North County and three have been confirmed in South County, Dr. Do-Reynoso said.
Officials also announced a health officer order that will go into effect at 5 p.m. March 20, which prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people for non-essential services. In addition, county residents over the age of 75 and residents over the age of 70 with underlying medical conditions will be mandated to shelter in place.
There are exemptions to both health orders, which includes clarifying what are considered “essential services” for both public gatherings and the shelter orders.
According to health officials, the third person to contract the novel coronavirus was a family member of the first county resident to test positive. The third case, confirmed Wednesday, is a North County resident in their 60s.
The South County cases include a person in their 20s and two people in their 50s. The two new North County cases involve individuals in their 30s. Details on the sixth case were not available as of 5:45 p.m.
“PHD is taking steps to identify persons who may have had close contact with these people, including friends, family members, or health care professionals. PHD is conducting a thorough investigation to determine how the latest five cases contracted COVID-19,” officials said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates