SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As of February 28, the California Department of Public Health reported a total of 34 positive cases of coronavirus in the state. Though no cases have yet been found in Santa Barbara County, the SB County Public Health Department (SBCPHD) is making preparations.
“Public Health has been working diligently to prepare for the possibility of a COVID-19 case in our county. Our team is closely monitoring COVID-19, and based on the current low level of transmission in the state, we do not have reasons to impose social distancing at this point in time,” said Van Do-Reynoso, Director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. “We will continue to communicate with community members and local health care providers as we know more.”
The SBCPHD said they are working closely with healthcare partners to assure screening, testing and care for all potential coronavirus patients. However, due to limited supplies, they cannot yet offer all citizens a test.
“We are urging everyone to remain calm. We are not recommending universal testing for everyone at this time, since testing kits are still limited. Most people in our community are still at low health risk for serious complications from COVID-19. More widespread testing will be available in the near future, but we anticipate that testing will continue to be limited to severely ill people,” stated Dr. Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County Health Officer.
Test kits for the coronavirus are available in eight Public Health Departments around California, including one in Ventura County.
Public Health officials want to remind the public to protect themselves and those around them from illness by:
- Washing your hands with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
For more information about the coronavirus, you can visit the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website here or call their information line at (805) 681-4373.