Credit: ISTOCK

After weeks of steady decline, Santa Barbara County’s COVID-19 case rate has shown a plateau in recent days.

Santa Barbara County has been in the red tier for three weeks and its entry into the less-restrictive orange tier hinges on the adjusted case rate, which is currently at 5.1 as of Friday. At the Friday press conference, Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said she believes that the county can drop its case rate to below 4 and enter the orange tier within two weeks or so, if the public “doubles down” on COVID precautions.

Do-Reynoso also gave an update on the county’s vaccine rollout. She shared that 63 percent of those 75 and older have been fully vaccinated; 25 percent of those 65-74 have been fully vaccinated; and 79 percent of those 65-74 have had at least one dose.

Soon, all adults will be eligible to get vaccinated in the county. On April 1, anyone 50 and older will be eligible. On April 15, anyone 16 and older can get the vaccine. 

The county has so far received 154,030 doses of the vaccine. It has so far given out 86,442 first doses, 45,676 second doses, and 3,967 single doses. In total, the county has administered 88.5 percent of its total vaccine allocation.

Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg also gave an update on virus variants. He said there are two main types of variants in the state — the California variant and the U.K. variant. He said that the U.K variant was outpacing the California one, though he added that the three vaccines available are all able to fight against both variants. 

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