This week, Santa Barbara County Public Health leaders announced Santa Barbara County may be moving into the orange tier within weeks. The county just turned the corner in the red tier last week.
To get into the orange tier requires around two to five COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the county, or four million vaccinations given in the state of California.
Dr. Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer, said Friday: "[It] is possible that two [to] three weeks from now, we have met those thresholds and then the door is open to go to orange hopefully.”
Santa Barbara County Public Health officials say the federal government is sending more vaccines to local pharmacies which will increase accessibility to vaccines.
"The federal government is also sending doses that don’t go through the state system to pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid. [These pharmacies] also offer vaccinations and I would encourage people to call them or go on their website and check that out because there are more vaccination opportunities that become more and more available,” Dr. Ansorg explained.
Vaccines have a shelf life, so people if do not show up to their appointments, pharmacies can offer the extra doses to members of the community.
CVS says in a statement to KSBY:
We follow all CDC and manufacturer guidelines with regard to the proper storage and administration of each COVID-19 vaccine to help ensure that vaccine is not wasted. Our online scheduling tool also helps to ensure that appointments are matched to the available vaccine supply. In the event of unused doses in our pharmacies, our pharmacy teams will evaluate how to most efficiently vaccinate eligible individuals with remaining doses. This includes outreaching to eligible patients in their communities, as our pharmacies maintain patient profiles with information that can help identify who is eligible to be vaccinated.
Santa Barbara County says to avoid another COVID-surge, people should stay safe especially during Spring Break and upcoming holidays.
San Luis Obispo County is also heading toward the orange tier. The latest statistics show the county’s positivity rate already meets the requirements, however, officials have not stated when the move to orange may happen.
The orange tier allows for more re-openings for businesses and recreation.
Click here to see what can open in the orange tier.