Health officials report dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases

By edhat staff

Officials in Santa Barbara County report a “dramatic increase” in COVID-19 cases due to unvaccinated residents.

During a press conference on Tuesday, officials said the county’s rate rose by 400% in one month.

Public health officer Dr. Henning Ansorg expressed frustration over those who choose not to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines, when it is now easily available.

“I am saddened to report that Santa Barbara County is experiencing a dramatic increase in new COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths. I am particularly saddened and saddened because all of this can be prevented 100%,” said Dr. Care.

Director of Public Health Dr. Van Do-Reynoso confirmed that the local number is rising in a “very rapid way in two weeks.”

Santa Barbara County active COVID-19 cases increased by 70% to 303 from a two-week average of 179. In addition, hospital admissions increased by 71% and the positivity rate of the test reached 5.3%.

Dr. Do-Reynoso also confirmed eight COVID-19 outbreaks across the county. One location is a homeless shelter in Santa Maria, and the other is a school in the southern county with 23 positive cases, mostly students.

If the state still used the color-coded tier system, Santa Barbara County would be on the brink of the purple level, she said.

Nearly 52% of the county’s total population is fully vaccinated and 61% of those eligible. Approximately 149,600 county residents are unvaccinated.

Dr. Ansorg confirmed 80% of new positive cases and all admissions were unvaccinated. Approx. 20% of the new COVID-19 cases were among vaccinated people, although no required admission mostly had zero to minimal symptoms.

While treating “breakthrough” infections, Dr. Concern, “what we’re seeing so far is that asymptomatic, vaccinated people do not appear to be spreading the virus.”

Dr. Do-Reynoso said the public health department will consider reintroducing the mesh mandate if the number continues to rise consistently, but for now they are happy with advice and encouragement for vaccination.

On Tuesday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a change to its masking recommendations as they become more concerned about the Delta variant of Covid-19 and urge vaccinated people in certain areas of the country to resume using masks indoors in public areas.

People living in areas with “high” or “significant” Covid-19 transmission should resume wearing masks indoors, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. This is almost two-thirds of the counties in the United States.

For those who have not been vaccinated, the instructions are the same, continue wearing a mask until you receive the vaccine.

The CDC’s latest guide also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and school visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

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