Novel coronavirus SAS-CoV-2 shown emerging from cell surface under scanning electron microscope.

Santa Barbara County health officials reported one more COVID-related death involving a Santa Maria resident over the age of 70, bringing the county’s fatality total to 29. In the past three days — Saturday through Monday — the number of new cases has increased by 34, 54, and 96 respectively each day. That brings the total number of cases — individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 — to 2,896. Of those, 282 remain active. As of last count, 54 of the COVID-positive patients are now hospitalized, and 21 are in intensive care. 

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Although these numbers fall within the capacity of the three major hospital operators to treat, County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg announced that all county bars and brewpubs would be closed effective Wednesday, July 1, and would remain so until July 26 or until the order “is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.” Ansorg said the decision was made to comply with recommendations made by Governor Gavin Newsom this Sunday that Santa Barbara County shut down its bars. Ansorg also cited the increase in new cases. The action, he added, was “a proactive measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 locally” in anticipation of the Fourth of July weekend. 

In the past three days, the number of reported hospitalizations has hovered between 53 and 60. In the same period, the number of ICU patients with COVID ranged from 24 to 21. The last time that number dipped below 20 was June 24. The number of active cases, likewise, has shifted from 305 to 282 in the past three days. 

At the Santa Barbara Independent, our staff is working around the clock to cover every aspect of this crisis — sorting truth from rumor.  Our reporters and editors are asking the tough questions of our public health officials and spreading the word about how we can all help one another. The community needs us — now more than ever — and we need you  in order to keep doing the important work we do. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.


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