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Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County confirms 78 more COVID-19 cases, 1 death; county awaits updated data

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The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed 78 additional COVID-19 cases on Tuesday along with one death, with county officials hoping for updated case data in the coming days following a statewide glitch that skewed county case numbers. 

Jan Koegler, county disaster preparedness manager, said that the state's data glitch has been fixed and the county's case total should begin to be updated in the next few days.

However, officials don't know when the county's data will be fully updated with the backlog of cases from the last couple weeks, or what the final number will look like, she said. 

"We don't really know what to expect," Koegler said at a Tuesday press conference. "We hope to have more information next week." 

With the caveat that the actual number of cases is likely higher, Tuesday's new cases push the county's total past the 7,000 mark to 7,074, with 310 active cases, according to county data. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped from 84 to 76 by Tuesday, but the number of people in the ICU remained at 31.

The 73rd death announced Tuesday was a Santa Barbara resident over the age of 70 with underlying health conditions, according to the department. The resident's date of death was not specified, despite the county previously sharing the data last week.

COVID-19 in the workplace

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Along with sharing state data updates, county Public Health officials shared recommendations for handling COVID-19 cases at places of work, advising employees to be honest with employers.

"More and more places are encountering situations of having employees test positive," Koegler said. 

According to Koegler, employees should tell their employer if they have tested positive for the virus or if someone in their home has tested positive. 

From there, employees should quarantine for two weeks and connect with a medical provider, while employers compile a list of all close contacts the employee had when they were last at work. 

While connecting with these close contacts, employers should make sure to keep their identities and information confidential in order to protect their privacy, Koegler said. 

COVID-19 cases by area

Santa Maria continues to hold the highest number of cases, with 123 active out of 3,176 total cases. Forty individuals have died, with two additional deaths announced Monday. 

The community of Orcutt has 14 active cases out of 226 total cases. Three individuals have died.

In the city of Lompoc, 30 cases are active out of 533 cases. Seven individuals have died. 

The Santa Ynez Valley has four active cases, with 80 cases confirmed thus far. Two individuals have died.

At the Federal Penitentiary in Lompoc, 1,1019 total cases have been confirmed with no cases currently active. Three deaths have been confirmed by the county, although the Bureau of Prisons has confirmed four.

COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County

In neighboring San Luis Obispo County, 24 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Tuesday along with one additional death in the county, bringing the county's death total to 17.

The county has confirmed 2,278 cases thus far.

The 17th COVID-19 death, announced Tuesday afternoon, was an individual in their nineties with chronic health conditions, according to the county Public Health Department. 

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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