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COVID’s fifth wave breaks case records but not as deadly as last winter so far

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. —  COVID-19’s fifth wave is bringing record-setting new cases to the South and Central Coasts. Santa Barbara County Public Health (SBCPH) officials state, as of Tuesday morning, the current seven-day new case average is 912. January 6 and January 8 have the top two single-day new cases to date. January 6 had 1,253 and January 8 had 1,325.

Despite these record-setting new cases, Santa Barbara health leaders are noticing hospitalizations and deaths are not following a similar trajectory, so far.

Cottage Health infectious disease specialist, Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons, said, “What’s good this far is we’re seeing very, very few critically ill patients. I think that speaks to the excellent protection that we enjoy here in Santa Barbara County area in regards to vaccine protection. I think that really is going to play a significant role in hopefully, hopefully, avoiding the impacts in our ICUs similar to what we’ve seen in the past.”

Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic’s chief medical and executive officer, Dr. Charles Fenzi, reiterates the importance of vaccines. “If you’re vaccinated and boosted you may have the virus and not know it because you won’t have any symptoms.” 

Dr. Fenzi added that the COVID-19 vaccines were a gift from God to be available to us so quickly during the pandemic.

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Scott Sheahen

Scott Sheahen is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Scott, click here.

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