The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced Friday that county residents who are 65 or older will be eligible to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Tuesday.
With the expanded eligibility, local health care providers, pharmacies, hospitals and county vaccination sites can open for appointments for those 65 and older once vaccines become available. As discussed during Friday’s press conference, the county’s vaccine supplies are still very limited and providers are working to ensure those that receive a first dose will be able to receive a second dose.
The county receives about 6,000 doses each week, and has received roughly 61,000 total doses of the vaccine. Of that, 99% of the doses have been administered, said Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, director of the county Public Health Department.
Also on Friday, it was announced by state officials that people between 16 and 64 who are disabled or at high risk for mortality from COVID-19 will be eligible to be vaccinated starting March 15. The underlying conditions included are those who have cancer, chronic kidney disease (stage 4 of more), chronic pulmonary disease, Down syndrome, immunocompromised individuals as a result of a solid organ transplant, pregnant individuals, those who suffer sickle cell disease, heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, severe obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
The county Public Health Department also announced new features to its COVID-19 dashboard, which includes information on doses administered by age, race, gender and ethnicity, as well as details on the vaccine doses administered by region.
The county Public Health Department reported 87 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, as well as one additional death.
The county has now reported 30,586 total COVID-19 cases and 367 deaths associated with the virus. Some 29,478 people have recovered, and 741 cases are considered still infectious.
The death reported Friday was a Santa Maria resident over 70 years old who had underlying medical conditions. The death was not associated with an outbreak at a congregate living facility.
The city of Santa Barbara reported 29 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing its total to 5,603. OF those, 165 are considered active.
The city of Lompoc reported 16 new cases and has now reported a total of 3,209. Of those, 97 remain active.
Other daily case totals from Friday included: city of Santa Maria, seven new cases (10,379 total, 169 active); unincorporated area of the Goleta Valley and Gaviota, seven new cases (1,041 total, 27 active); Santa Ynez Valley, six new cases (893 total, 32 active); Isla Vista, five new cases (1,138 total, 41 active); South County unincorporated area of Montecito, Summerland and the city of Carpinteria, three new cases (1,228 total, 35 active) Goleta, three new cases (1,590 total, 68 active); unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and the city of Guadalupe, three new cases (1,188 total, 32 active); and Orcutt, one new case (1,600 total, 31 active).
No new cases were reported in the federal prison complex in Lompoc. The geographic region of seven cases was pending on Friday.
A total of 139 people are receiving treatment at local hospitals, including 28 in the Intensive Care Unit. The county’s ICU availability was 31.6% on Friday.
Cottage Health issued an update on Friday, announcing that it is caring for a total of 304 patients across all campuses. At Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, 196 acute care patients are being treated, 12 of whom are on ventilators.
Some 58 acute care patients are in isolation with COVID-19 symptoms and 54 are confirmed COVID-19 positive. Eight of the patients in isolation are in critical care.
The adult critical care available capacity at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital was 48.9% on Friday.