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Santa Barbara County Public Health provide Board of Supervisors COVID update

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Santa Barbara County Public Health provided a COVID update at Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting.

The first thing to note is COVID cases are dropping throughout the county.

This along with other topics were mentioned during a presentation by public health Tuesday. 

Case rates by vaccination status were talked about.

People in the county who are unvaccinated are four times more likely to get sick with covid than those who are.

As for hospitalization rates, it has increased by 309% in a month.

Something county hospitals are noticing is 25 to 30% of patients who are admitted for other reasons tested positive for COVID.

They did not even know they were sick with the virus.

Officials also talked about outbreaks in the county.

“Currently we have 211 active outbreaks that our team is managing,” said Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso. “We have 93 outbreaks among businesses, 48 among schools, and 70 among living facilities.”

Another topic mentioned was when will COVID become endemic?

This means when will the virus be manageable and not cause enough illness to disrupt normal life.

The department said in order for that to happen, there are some strategies to take.

Those include getting the booster shot, having antiviral medications ready, newer vaccines that protect against all variants, easy access to self-testing and isolation if positive.

They also want social distancing and masking to continue until the omicron surge is over.

However, the department says most of these strategies are still in the works.

Public health officials hope COVID cases to continue to drop across the county.

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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.

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