SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — California rang in the new year and 2021 softly.
Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic and new confirmed cases and daily deaths are soaring. California is seven weeks into their second full stay-at-home order with a 10 p.m. curfew. No one would have guessed we would be celebrating the start of 2021 in such a way.
To close 2020, the United States, California and Santa Barbara set chilling records. According to health officials, the U.S. recorded three of their four highest daily death counts during the last three days of the year: 3,628 on Dec. 29; 3,808 on Dec. 30 and 3,460 on Dec. 31.
California also set their single day daily death records in the last three days of the year. 425 people on Dec. 29; 437 people on Dec. 30 and 572 people on Dec. 31.
In Santa Barbara County, new daily cases soared. 256 new confirmed cases on Dec. 29; 280 new confirmed cases on Dec. 30 and 396 new confirmed cases on Dec. 31.
These out of control numbers have a lot of businesses closed, dining options suspended except for takeout or delivery and hospitals overwhelmed.
Health officials have encouraged people to remain home as much as possible. They hope people celebrate the holidays with their immediate households. Washing hands, wearing a mask and avoiding gatherings is the best way to help slow the spread of COVID-19.