SANTA MARIA, Calif. - As the pandemic rips across the country, doctors at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria are also seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases.
"There are still many people in our community that have the virus. They may not even be aware that they’re having it. We’re starting to see prevalence rates rise again," said Dr. Scott Robertson at Marian Regional Medical Center.
While Santa Maria does not have as many cases as other areas, the Santa Barbara County Public Health reports a jump in numbers from one coronavirus case reported on November 2 to 18 just this past Friday.
"It’s not to the degree that we’ve seen in other parts of the United States but we have to legitimately believe that it’s coming back," said Robertson.
As the holiday season approaches, doctors hope everyone will make their health and safety a priority as the pandemic continues.
"It’s really really frustrating because everybody wants to live," said concerned resident Susie Rauzi of Santa Maria.
Rauzi recently lost her brother from COVID-19 and hopes others will do their part to stay safe for everyone’s sake. “You know most of the people I come in contact with, they do have a mask on, but you know when they don’t they get hostile.”
In order to slow the curve, doctors are urging the community not to plan large gatherings this thanksgiving.
"If you plan to get together for Thanksgiving for whatever reason we ask that you limit to extraordinarily small size," said Robertson.
Robertson also adds that instead of having a Thanksgiving gathering indoors, to consider having it outdoors where there’s more ventilation.