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State Health Department flags increasing COVID-19 hospitalization rate in Santa Barbara County

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SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -- Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is working with the California Department of Public Health to address its increased hospitalization rates of individuals with COVID-19.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a press conference on Monday that the state is closely monitoring and working with 13 counties in the state to address areas of concern. Santa Barbara County is one of the 13 counties.

The state said the increased rate of hospitalization in Santa Barbara County is related to cases in the north county region that are attributed to community transmission due to gatherings, workplace transmission followed by household transmission, Skilled Nursing Facility outbreaks, and an increase in community testing.

The Santa Barbara County Supervisors heard an update on the county's response Tuesday morning.

The state said the average increase in hospitalization rate in a 3-day period should not exceed 10% in order to meet the metric. Santa Barbara County reported a 27.2% hospitalization rate, according to the state website.

“The increase in hospitalizations and concerns around Skilled Nursing Facilities are just two of the metrics we are monitoring closely when considering how we proceed. We continue to work with the State and Local Partners to find the most effective ways in which we can safely reopen businesses when the time is right for Santa Barbara County,” stated Van Do-Reynoso, Director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

The county said it's working with the state to address concerns through key actions including increased community engagement, disease mitigation strategies, continued testing, and maintenance of supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and access to face coverings.

The current Santa Barbara County Health Officer Order does not permit personal care services such as massage services and tattoo parlors to operate in Santa Barbara County, and they may not open until the order is amended or replaced.

Click here to see the latest COVID-19 numbers in Santa Barbara County.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Bryce Hanamoto

Bryce Hanamoto is a producer and digital journalist for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Bryce, click here.


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