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Santa Barbara County reacts to partial shutdown, shortage of COVID-19 test availability

More Santa Barbara business closures
Scott Sheahen / KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- California is its 19th week of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just before Memorial Day businesses started softly reopening, on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a partial shut down for inside actives. The shut down was due to the rise of COVID-19 confirmed cases across the state.

As of Monday, according to public health websites, Santa Barbara County has 329 active cases, San Luis Obispo County has 313 active cases, and Ventura County has 2,128 active cases.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said the latest closures should be a wake up call to the community but she said businesses aren't all to blame. She said a major concern is friends and family getting together.

"Backyard gatherings for Father's Day, for graduations, for birthday parties, so that is one common theme," Do-Reynoso said.

Last week, the state-run free COVID-19 testing locations across the South Coast filled up. On Monday, wait times for an appointment were two weeks, by Wednesday it was three weeks. Santa Barbara County Public Health officials said they asked the state to help make more tests available.

The county is working to make more testing appointments available.

"We are planning to stand up at least three testing sites of our own and we are hoping to unveil that by the end of the month," said Do-Reynoso.

Health experts said the best protection is not to mix with other groups, limit outings, wear a face covering and wash your hands.

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Scott Sheahen

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