SANTA MARIA, Calif - Santa Barbara County Supervisors got a public health update on the current surge in the spread of the coronavirus in the county for the first time since they returned from their summer recess.
In a slide presentation of charts and numbers, County Supervisors heard more about how the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading through the county population particularly among those not vaccinated.
"We see that the rate is 25.4 per 100,000 among unvaccinated individuals," said Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Van Do-Reynoso.
The Delta variant is blamed for the recent increase in new infections and hospitalizations in Santa Barbara County, especially among younger people, as well as those fully vaccinated which are called breakthrough cases.
"The good news is we know, again, that these are not severe cases, hospitalized cases or deaths for the most part," added Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons with Cottage Health Systems.
Those on the front lines of fighting the pandemic continue to stress the importance of vaccination and wearing masks when out in public.
"I would really like to promote to everyone the use of masks which is a way to protect not only yourself but also those around you," said Dr. Chuck Merrill with Dignity Health Systems.
Some in the community told County Supervisors that the general public is being misled about the severity and spread of the coronavirus as well as the effectiveness and health risks of taking the vaccine.
"You are coercing people into an experimental treatment that is not the best way to treat and prevent the spread and contraction of COVID," said one public speaker remotely.
"I know you think you are doing the right thing, but you're pawns in a bigger game," added another public speaker remotely. "This is a game of fraud, this is a game of deception and this is a game of trying to eliminate the Bill of Rights."
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department updates current COVID-19 data and safety guidelines by clicking here.