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Extra state help coming to Santa Barbara County to trace COVID-19 exposure

COVID - 19 test
With more COVID-19 testing comes the need for more tracking staff to follow up on those who test positive. (KEYT photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Health Department is aggressively tracking the exposure points for COVID-19 after seeing an alarming spike in the last week.

The Board of Supervisors was given the assurance Tuesday by Health Director Van Do-Reynoso.

She said 15 new staff members were coming to the COVID-19 tracking team this week and 15 more next week. The State Department of Health is assisting with this increase in workers for this specific assignment.

Santa Barbara County is one of more than 30 in the state on a specific "watch" list due to issues with higher than allowable data on the coronavirus.

The health department also said it is requesting more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) citing a drop in the adequate supply necessary for a large increase in COVID-19 in the days ahead.

The report also focused on the outreach efforts into communities beyond the three testing sites in Santa Maria, Buellton and Santa Barbara. Each week special teams are also testing in the City of Guadalupe and the community of New Cuyama, both in Northern Santa Barbara County.

Agricultural areas have had a larger increase in COVID-19 within the county. Efforts are underway to trace the contacts those with positive cases have had with others in the workplace and in their living situations.

For more information go to: Santa Barbara County Health

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.