The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced 78 new cases of COVID-19 during Tuesday’s press conference, bringing the county’s total to 7,074.
Jan Koegler, the county’s emergency disaster preparedness manager, also discussed the issue with the state’s CalREDIE system.
A technical error with the system led to an underreporting of positive cases for multiple counties in California, including Santa Barbara.
Currently, the state is working through the backlog and the additional cases will be added throughout the week.
“We do expect additional cases to appear in the system in the coming days and we’ll continue to report them as we receive them. We do hope to have more information and more data by next week,” Ms. Koegler said.
“We don’t currently know the magnitude or the timing of when the cases will come in or how this might affect our testing positivity rate, but we did want you to know to expect those results coming in.”
The county also announced an additional death on Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 73.
The individual who passed away was over the age of 70 and had underlying health conditions, according to Ms. Koegler.
The person resided in Santa Barbara — which means the city now accounts for seven of the county’s deaths — and was also associated with a congregate living facility.
Of the total cases, 310 are still considered active, or still infectious, according to the county’s website, with 76 people recovering in the hospital and 31 in the Intensive Care Unit.
According to numbers released, Cottage Health is currently caring for a total of 302 patients across all campuses.
Of those, 242 are acute care patients, meaning that 146 acute care beds remain available.
The majority of the cases announced Tuesday were out of Santa Maria, which announced 45 new cases. Santa Maria has the most cases by city in the county, with 3,176. Of those, 123 are active with no other city having more than 54 active cases.
Santa Barbara saw its total case numbers rise by 13 on Tuesday, with the city now having 928 total cases.
Lompoc recorded five new cases, the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and the city of Guadalupe saw four new cases. Orcutt reported three new cases, Isla Vista and the area between Gaviota Valley and Goleta both had two new cases and Goleta totaled one new case.
There were also no new cases in the Federal Prison Complex in Lompoc, which, according to the county’s website, has no current active cases.
Broken down by age range, the bracket with the most cases came from residents between 18 and 29 with 26 new cases, bringing the total to 1,915.
There were also 24 new cases in the 30 to 49 age range, bringing the total to 2,771, the most in the county.
The 0-17 age range saw 10 new cases, 50-69 saw 14 and those in the 70-plus group saw three new cases.
Other topics of discussion during Tuesday’s meeting included 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart’s support for the colleges and universities in the county.
“The county of Santa Barbara will continue to work closely with our local institutions of higher education to collaborate on outreach strategies to keep students, staff and faculty safe and healthy,” Mr. Hart said.
“During this pandemic, there are many uncertainties in the daily lives of young people. But our local educational institutions are working hard to help students realize their dreams.”
Since the county is still on the state’s monitoring lists, some of the local colleges had to reassess their plans, with most going completely online and a few classes that will be held in person with social distancing protocols in action.
Ms. Koegler also mentioned how the county is still working with long-term care facilities to properly test once there is a person who tests positive.
“We currently work on approximately 25 facilities per week that are implementing widespread testing in response to positive cases. This means if one or more cases occur in staff or residents at one of these licensed facilities, the facility must conduct testing of all the staff and residents,” Ms. Koegler said.
“This week, the department is supporting 11 facilities.”