SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -- Santa Barbara County Public Health is urging residents to get vaccinated as Delta variant cases rise.
On Friday, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says they are remaining vigilant on assessing the increase in COVID-19 cases and the impact of the Delta variant within the county.
The CDC is labeled the variant as a concern due to its increased transmissibility.
Santa Barbara County Public Health says they will continue to follow the state's guidance on masking, which continues to be optional for fully vaccinated individuals.
“As we now approach the two-week period following the 4th of July holiday weekend, we are seeing the expected increase in cases due to extensive traveling and mingling,” said Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County Health Officer. “It remains critically important that we continue to practice safety guidelines such as staying home if feeling ill, wear a mask in public indoor settings, avoid crowded events, and practice good hand hygiene.”
County Health says there are breakthrough cases, fully vaccinated people who have contracted the virus, present here in the area but do not suffer from the more serious symptoms of the virus.
Individuals that have received their first dose of a two-dose vaccine are urged to receive their second dose in order to gain optimal protection against the Delta variant.
“We have a method of preventing severe illness and hospitalization from the COVID-19 Delta variant which we know is effective, and that is getting vaccinated. If you are eligible and have not yet been vaccinated, it is critical to get your first shot as soon as possible,” states Van Do-Reynoso, County Public Health Director.
The COVID-19 vaccines are available broadly in the United States. Public Health says they highly effective, and free of cost to every eligible community member.
For more information on Santa Barbara County's COVID-19 response, click here.