(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Today, the State announced the Santa Barbara County adjusted case rate to be 16.9 and testing positivity to be 6.0%. This lowered adjusted case rate allows schools serving TK through 6th grade, with approved safety plans, to return to in-person learning as early as tomorrow, February 24, 2021. As local metrics continue to trend downward, the need for more testing could improve weekly adjusted case rate leading to further reopening in the near future.
The step forward for TK-6 requires close watch of the safety guidelines for children. Parents and schools will need to ensure many things including daily screening of kids, keeping them home when not feeling well, limiting gathering with people outside of their households, maintaining social distancing outside of their home, wearing face coverings, and following isolation and quarantine guidance when a family member or close contact tests positive.
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Health Officer, Dr. Henning Ansorg states, “COVID-19 is largely transmitted in the community and not in a TK-6 school setting. When everyone does their part to follow the safety guidelines and protocols, our children can return to school in a safe environment for themselves and for school staff.”
Allowing some students to return to in-person learning is a significant step in the right direction. To continue to move forward as a community, to more reopening, testing is critical. Testing is vital in protecting everyone in the community and our loved ones. Remember that more than 50% of transmissions happen unknowingly, because the infected person does not have any symptoms yet and is already spreading the virus.”
While the county’s positive case rates play a key role, testing volume must also remain high, to move our county to the Red Tier and further.
Community testing sites are available throughout the county. Many sites are open until 7 p.m., allow walk-ins and have no wait times. Turnaround times for tests have also decreased. More information on testing locations can be found here: https://publichealthsbc.org/testing/
For information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine or reach the County Call Center for vaccine information by calling 2-1-1 and selecting option 4. This line is available 7 days a week between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
2-1-1 Call Center: Dial 211 if calling from within the county; or call (800) 400-1572 if calling from outside the area.
Community Wellness Team Information and Referral Line: (805) 364-2750