Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Dr. Henning Ansorg | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported an additional 21 COVID-19 cases Tuesday, eight of which were inmates at the Lompoc Federal Prison.

Of the remaining cases, one person lives in Santa Barbara; one person lives in the unincorporated areas of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama, and Guadalupe; 10 people live in Santa Maria; and one case is still pending location.

Santa Maria has consistently seen more cases than any other area in the county. On Monday, Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said the phenomenon “truly stumped” him, and on Tuesday morning, he said the department would be working closely with health and local city officials in Santa Maria to understand the cause. He said there was no obvious connection to the higher number of cases in the city despite the department searching for a demographic connection like race and ethnicity, income level, and occupation.

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The additional 21 cases reported Tuesday raise the county’s overall number of positive cases to 1,517. Omitting inmate cases at the prison, 432 people have recovered and 56 people still have the virus. Of those recovering, 28 people are at home; another 28 people are recovering in the hospital, 11 of which are in an intensive care unit; and eight are pending information. 

Per the county’s most recent update on cases in the Lompoc Prison, 448 inmates have recovered; 519 actively have the virus; and one case is pending. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is still holding back any data on where or how the inmates are recovering. The inmate case count data from the Public Health Department is also delayed. According to the BOP website, 778 inmates actively have COVID-19 and 150 inmates have recovered.


  • The virus infected men more than women in Santa Barbara County. As of Tuesday, only 250 of the county’s total 1,517 reported cases are women. Men account for 1,252 of the cases, and the remaining 15 are unknown. The Lompoc Prison can likely be attributed to some of the discrepancy because it only houses male inmates.
  • Health-care workers are getting hit, too. So far, 72 people who work in health care in Santa Barbara have tested positive for the virus.
  • Middle-aged people contract the virus at higher rates than other age groups, including older seniors, who are considered to be among the most vulnerable. Of the total county cases, 691 people are between the ages of 30-49; 464 people are between the ages of 50-69; and 252 people are between the ages of 18-29. Just 80 people above the age of 70 and 30 people below the age of 18 have tested positive for COVID-19.

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