COVID-19 cases have reached critically high levels in Santa Barbara County, and as of the end of July, the local case rate had reached 9.8 cases per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 6.9%. With these metrics, Santa Barbara County would be in the purple tier in the now retired tiered framework. These metrics mean that we have widespread community transmission of the delta variant. Over 400 active cases have been detected locally, a 55% increase from the previous 2-week average. As of July 20, over 86% of new cases occurred in unvaccinated community members.
New cases of COVID-19 have dramatically increased in July and the demographics of those contracting the virus have shifted. Cases in the past month have trended younger with persons 18-29 years of age making up the majority of cases. More cases are now being detected in the southern part of the county which is a contrast from earlier in the pandemic when the majority of new infections occurred in north county.
The Public Health Department strongly advises all community members to follow these strategies:
- Wear a mask in all indoor spaces outside your home.
- Stay home if you are ill, even if you have been vaccinated.
- Avoid crowded events.
- Get vaccinated if you have not done so already.
“As we enter this new phase of the pandemic, the landscape has changed dramatically from last year’s summer surge”, shared Van Do-Reynoso, County Public Health Director. “We have the safe, effective solution to stop this surge in its tracks. We need every eligible member of this community to act and get vaccinated as soon as possible. There are still 149,688 persons eligible to be vaccinated in Santa Barbara County, who have not been vaccinated.”
For free vaccine opportunities in your area:
- Visit https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/
- Call 2-1-1 for information available in many languages 24/7
- Text GETVAX to 438829 for English or VACUNA to 822862 for Spanish