The San Marcos High School performance of Little Shop of Horrors, originally set to finish its closing weekend on Sunday, May 8, has been postponed to Thursday, May 19, and Friday, May 20, due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among crew members, with 16 students and one staff member reportedly testing positive.
Dr. Analese Alvarez, assistant principal at San Marcos High School, said the first report of infections came before a matinee performance on Sunday, May 8, when four students reported they had tested positive. At this point, Alvarez said, “unfortunately, it meant the cast and crew were exposed.” Students followed the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s quarantine guidelines, Alvarez said, and were able to return six days after the positive test result, as long as the student could provide a recent negative test and report improved symptoms. Students could also return 11 days after the positive test without providing a negative test result.
The latest COVID-19 data provided by the Santa Barbara Unified School District reports 34 positive COVID tests among students and 18 positive tests among staff between May 6 and May 12. The previous week, between April 29 and May 5, saw 18 positive student tests and 11 positive staff tests.
At the county level, cases have dwindled dramatically since January of this year. The daily case rate among unvaccinated individuals remains higher than the rate of fully vaccinated and boosted individuals, and fully vaccinated individuals without the booster. Between Monday, May 2, and Friday, May 6, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 199 unvaccinated positive COVID-19 cases. For those fully vaccinated and boosted, there were 106 positive cases, and for those fully vaccinated without the booster, there were 74 positive cases reported.
No deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported by Public Health in May. The last deaths reported were during the week of April 24, with two deaths reported. The largest spike in weekly deaths for Santa Barbara County in 2022 was in January, with 19 deaths reported during the week of January 23.
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