Growing concern as COVID-19 cases rise along Central Coast

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Posted at 9:22 AM, Jul 21, 2021

Counties on the Central Coast continue to see an increase of COVID-19 cases.

Current numbers show San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County are seeing a big spike in cases.

San Luis Obispo County health officials reported just this week alone they had a total of 129 new cases - nearly double the number of new cases reported the week prior and a growing concern, especially for those who are un-vaccinated.

"I think if you are not vaccinated, it would be smart to wear a mask,” said Santa Maria resident Tony Showalter.

A statement released by SLO Co. Public Health Office Dr. Penny Borenstein stated in part:

“The Delta variant spreads more quickly and easily than other strains of COVID-19, but we each have the power to stop its spread here in SLO county."

She adds the solution to stop the spread is to mask up and get vaccinated.

In Santa Barbara County, Delta cases are also rising. On Tuesday, the county reported 32 new cases, a big jump from prior weeks, which were at about nine cases per day, according to Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg.

“We are seeing sometimes that people who are vaccinated do get sick. However, they don't get seriously sick. They have like a minor cold or minor symptoms,” Ansorg said.

He emphasized those who are unvaccinated face a bigger risk of being hospitalized or worse.

"I carry a mask in my pickup when I go to Costco, when I go to all these places. I got all my shots but I still put my mask on," said San Luis Obispo resident Albert Lewis.

If you decide you don't want a vaccine, Dr. Ansorg says the best thing to do is to wear a mask indoors if possible.

"Wear a mask indoors, like the store, movie theater, restaurants and so forth. I'm not saying outdoors at all... it's indoors only,” Ansorg said.

According to health officials in San Luis Obispo County, out of all the cases reported this week, nine were confirmed to be the Delta variant but they add since not all cases are sequenced to determine their strain, the actual number could be considerably higher.