Santa Barbara County Public Health reported one new COVID-19 death on Friday, a Santa Maria resident over 70 years old who had underlying medical conditions. This individual was also associated with a congregate facility outbreak.
The county Public Health Department reported 23 new daily cases on Friday, five of them in Santa Maria, and four in both Orcutt and Isla Vista. Santa Barbara, the unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota, and Santa Ynez Valley each reported two new cases. Lompoc and the South County Unincorporated Area each had one and there was also one daily case among the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama, and Guadalupe.
One daily case is still pending.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, 2nd District supervisor and Board of Supervisors chair Gregg Hart said that the second wave of COVID-19 has not come to Santa Barbara County yet like it has to other localities across the country and world. With Halloween just a couple weeks away, the supervisor stressed that local residents should not go trick-or-treating as usual.
“Halloween is coming in a few weeks and trick-or-treating in the traditional way is a very real public health threat that should not be ignored. Please don’t think the virus is in the past and it’s safe to go trick-or-treating door to door,” he said.
Mr. Hart recommended confining celebrations to one’s own household or celebrating virtually.
This was echoed by Public Health director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso.
“Our guidance provides a modified trick-or-treating plan so that we all can have fun in a safe manner,” she said.
This guidance can be found online at publichealthsbc.org and includes trick-or-treating alternatives like “trunk or treating,” car parades, and a socially distanced costume parade.
Thus far, Santa Barbara County has had 9,560 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those, 9,329 have recovered, 112 are still infectious, and 119 have died.
According to Dr. Do-Reynoso, Santa Barbara County’s COVID-19 case rate continues to trend downward.
In order to move from the red tier to the orange tier, the county has to decrease its adjusted case rate to under 3.9 per 100,000 people. Also, Santa Barbara County’s testing positivity rate must be less than 4.9% and its health equity metric testing positivity must be less than 5.2%.
A majority of Friday’s new daily cases were individuals in the 18-29 age range. This was followed by the 30-49 age range with six daily cases, and 50-69 age range with four daily cases.
According to a press release, Cottage Health is currently caring for 274 patients across all of its campuses.
A total 221 of these are acute care patients, leaving 167 acute care beds available. Eleven of the acute care patients are on ventilators and 79 ventilators remain available.
Five acute care patients are in isolation with COVID-19 symptoms and two are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive.
Two of the five patients in isolation are in critical care.
A juvenile institution officer assigned to the Santa Barbara Probation Department’s Santa Maria Juvenile Hall has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release. The facility’s youth tested negative and it is currently awaiting results for its staff.