COVID-19 update marks 2-year anniversary of Santa Barbara County’s first case | Government and Politics
COVID-19 update marks 2-year anniversary of Santa Barbara County’s first case |  Government and Politics

COVID-19 update marks 2-year anniversary of Santa Barbara County’s first case | Government and Politics

A status report for Covid-19 pandemic in Santa Barbara County was delivered to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, exactly two years after the first infection of the virus was reported here.

In addition to talking about significant dates, outbreaks and hospitalization stops and current data on infections and vaccinations, the director of the public health department, Van Do-Reynoso, outlined the next phase of the county’s response and said the way it was handled in the past may change.

“In the future, we can expect that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID will continue to change and evolve, and we need to adapt to it, ”said Do-Reynoso. “We can also expect that the strategies and approaches we have used in the past may have to change as we adapt to the new variants.

“But we have the tools, with vaccinations and boosters [shots]with high-quality masks, with the availability of PCR and antigen testing and increased access to medicines, antivirals and monoclonal antibodies as treatment options, ”she continued.

“These are the four strategies that will really build our ability to fight COVID-19.”

Pr. By March 13, the percentage of county residents who were fully vaccinated was 67.7%, Do-Reynoso said, with 72% of eligible residents fully vaccinated and 79.9% of those eligible having received a first dose.

A total of 780,802 doses had been administered by that date, she said.

Divided by zip code was the lowest vaccination rate in Cuyama, where only 59% of residents had received the vaccine. Part of Los Olivos had the second highest rate of 97% after Carpinteria at 100%.

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Do-Reynoso said 13 new cases were reported on March 13, with a case rate of 4.41 per month. 100,000 people, 19 people were hospitalized, with two in intensive care units, active cases numbered 171 and the total number of cases reached 84,897.

Two new deaths were reported, bringing the total to 664. Both were 70 years old and had underlying health conditions, and one of them lived in a community care facility, although Do-Reynoso did not say which communities they lived in.

Looking ahead, Do-Reynoso said the county will maintain its mobile vaccination program in health areas and vulnerable communities, support vaccination through health systems, and prepare for seasonal increases and vaccination trends.

She said Public Health will work with homeless shelters to increase their ability to isolate and quarantine, encourage the use of state and federal testing systems, maintain test supplies for surges and outbreaks, and help health care partners maintain their own cache of antigen test.

The department will continue to test at county health centers in Lompoc and Santa Barbara through 2022 and develop the capacity to test at the Santa Maria Center in anticipation of the local test center closing at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

Do-Reynoso noted that the state has indicated that it will maintain this test center until June 30.

Contact detection and contact investigation personnel will switch to outbreak response, particularly involving travelers and accommodation facilities, and to responding to detailed queries from the community, businesses and residential centers.

After the local health emergency order expires, the department will streamline its dashboard to contain only key metrics, relying on data from the state Department of Public Health, but retaining the option to resume processing local data if an increase occurs, he said. Do-Reynoso.

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