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Santa Barbara County reports 13 new COVID-19 cases for total of 152

Santa Barbara County reports 13 new COVID-19 cases for total of 152

Exactly two weeks after the governor's shelter-in-place order, the number of Santa Barbara County coronavirus cases continued to climb Friday with 13 new cases reported, bringing the county's confirmed case count to 152.

The county is far from its peak number of cases, with models of a best-case scenario of spread projecting a peak in mid-May, Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said at a press conference.

Of the 13 new cases, four are in Santa Maria, two are in Santa Barbara, one is in the Santa Ynez Valley, three are in unincorporated South County areas, and three are in the Lompoc area including Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village.

Of the 152 cases, 26 are recovering in county hospitals, with 17 in intensive care units, Do-Reynoso said.

County public health officials have declined to comment on the number of health-care workers who have contracted the virus, but Do-Reynoso said Friday that the department has decided to release aggregate numbers once that data is compiled. 

Although 35 coronavirus patients have now recovered, Santa Barbara County's rate of new cases continues to outgrow the rate of recovery.

While 61% of cases have recovered in San Luis Obispo County, only 23% have recovered in Santa Barbara County, according to county Public Health Department data. 

Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart said to slow the rate of cases, the most important thing is to continue social distancing, especially on the weekends when more people go outside.

"We’ve seen an uptick of a concentration of people gathering in parks and public areas on the weekends. The only people who should be together outdoors are those who are currently living in the same household," Hart said.

While San Luis Obispo County had higher rate of increase earlier in March, the rate has slowed to under 10 new cases per day, with four additional cases announced Friday for a total of 93. 

Infographic: San Luis Obispo County Coronavirus Cases

Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.

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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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The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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