Wednesday, September 22, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 29

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 28th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 22, Issue 22 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 22, Issue 22

Public Health pleads with locals to get COVID-19 vaccine

By Malea Martin

Public health officials urged community members to get vaccinated as Santa Barbara County experiences soaring COVID-19 case rates, hospitalizations, outbreaks, and deaths. The county also reported one of the youngest local COVID-19 deaths so far in the pandemic: a Santa Maria individual between the ages of 18 and 29 who was unvaccinated and had no underlying health conditions.

As of July 19, positive cases in the county were five times more likely to be unvaccinated individuals than vaccinated, Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso said at a July 27 press conference. 

“As of July 26, our case rate stands at 8.8 cases per 100,000 residents. To put it into context, that’s a 400 percent increase in a month, since June 25,” Do-Reynoso said. 

Both active cases and people hospitalized have seen about a 70 percent increase, she said, within the span of two weeks. 

Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said that while breakthrough cases—when a fully vaccinated person catches COVID-19—do occur occasionally, these cases are typically either mild or asymptomatic, and virtually never end up in the hospital or dying. 

“Let me be clear, this new surge … is affecting the people who do not get vaccinated,” Ansorg said. “We now experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Do-Reynoso said there are currently eight active outbreaks in the county, the largest ones being at Good Samaritan’s Emergency Shelter in Santa Maria and among students at a South County school. 

While the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening system is no longer in use, public health officials are still referencing the tiers to gauge how bad COVID-19 spread is. Do-Reynoso said the county is currently approaching purple-tier metrics. She said if the county gets into the “deep purple,” Public Health would consider reinstating a mask mandate.

Weekly Poll
What are the most important conversations to be having right now when it comes to policing?

We need to address how racial bias influences policing.
We should focus on funding the police so they can do their job.
Mental health is where our dollars need to go, both in and out of the police department.
As one Sept. 20 community input meeting attendee said,

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