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Santa Barbara - South County

COVID-19 vaccination efforts expanding throughout Santa Barbara County

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SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — Santa Barbara County is tilting in the right direction, as new coronavirus cases have come crashing down.

“We are very glad to see our case rates dropping,” public health officer Henning Ansorg said. “Our test positivity is going down simultaneously.”

“We are where we are today because collectively we’re all doing a great job adhering to guidance,” public health director Van Do-Reynoso said.

This gave the green light to all elementary schools to open up for in-person instruction.

“This cannot come at a better time,” fourth district supervisor Bob Nelson said. “We are seeing escalating suicide rates nationwide and a mental health crisis among our youth.”

Vaccination efforts are also expanding countywide.

Meaning that those working in emergency services, food, agriculture, childcare and education are able to receive their shots starting on Monday.

Healthcare workers along with those age 65 and older are set to receive 70% of the county’s total doses.

The other 30% will go towards community clinics for separate sector populations.

“We have set aside at least 1,000 vaccines dedicated to childcare and education for next week at the Lompoc Valley Medical Center,” Do-Reynoso said,

Even as COVID-19 cases fall fast, health experts are still preaching precaution.

“The vaccination is meant to prevent death and severe illness right now,” Ansorg said. “At this point, it will not stop the pandemic until 90% of the population is vaccinated.”

With a move into the less restrictive red tier in reach, county officials are encouraging everyone to get tested.

“The volume of testing in Santa Barbara County matters,” Nelson concluded. “The greater the testing, the greater the adjustment factor for our case rate.”

Hope is on the horizon for youth sports, as the county’s current case rate hovers around 16.9 per 100,000 residents

That number only needs to fall down to 14 per 100,000 in order for athletics to get going once again.

California / Community / Coronavirus / Education / Events / Health / Lifestyle
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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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