SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, Santa Barbara County is enduring a state of scarcity.
Each week, the number of doses delivered from the state changes.
“Because of the limited vaccines right now, we are continuing to prioritize frontline healthcare workers and persons aged 75 and older,” public health director Van Do-Reynoso said.
“We could complete this vaccination phase much faster if we only had more vaccines at hand,” public health officer Henning Ansorg said.
Yet, county officials say they’re inching closer to reaching Phase 1B.
This would offer vaccines to residents 65 and older along with those working in education, childcare, emergency services, food and agriculture.
This week alone, 45 lives were lost from this deadly virus.
“We are now seeing these high death rates from the winter holidays,” Ansorg said.
Ever since the county’s post holiday peak in mid-January, new case numbers have decreased.
“These numbers show a notable decrease in our COVID-19 metrics since our post-holiday peak,” Van Do-Reynoso said.
In the meantime, much more work needs to be done, as the county’s case rate needs to decrease by an additional 80% in order to reach the red tier.
County officials say that this can only be achieved with subdued Super Bowl celebrations.
“For this Super Bowl Sunday, let’s make sure not to convert it into a super spreader Sunday,” Ansorg said.
“We are in danger of those super spreader events that we’ve experienced before during other holidays,” Van Do-Reynoso concluded.