(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Santa Barbara County is reporting the highest daily case count of COVID-19, with 360 new positive cases today, December 14, 2020.  This surge in cases falls just over two weeks after the Thanksgiving Holiday, as anticipated by local health experts, and is directly related to gatherings of family and friends.

“Today’s positive case count surpasses any daily count we have seen to date, and underscores the predictions we have anticipated if people continue to gather with those outside of their immediate households,” states Van Do-Reynoso, Director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. “We are at a critical state of urgency with ICU bed availability declining at a rapid rate.”

With the dramatic spike in positive cases, the Public Health Department is working as quickly as possible to contact trace all who have newly tested positive, but resources are being stretched beyond anything previously seen, even with surge capacity plans in place. It is critical that the public assist. If people have tested positive for the virus, they must take immediate action to stay home and isolate themselves from others while following the isolation guidelines and notifying others who have been in close contact to them.

“We have reached case counts that exceed all previous records,” says Do-Reynoso. “It is imperative that each individual take action now and stay home. We are reaching a point where we can see on the horizon our health care system being overrun. We must take immediate action as our decisions are now seeing the price to be paid, and it is costing the lives and wellbeing of our community members.”

For more information about the local impacts of COVID-19, please website www.publichealthsbc.org or call 2-1-1. 


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