The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is reporting nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, March 20.
Health officials say the increase in cases demonstrates widespread community transmission.
Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg said at a news conference Friday afternoon that social distancing is the only option to slow the spread of COVID-19. He is urging the younger population to take this outbreak seriously because younger and healthier people can still become very ill as a result of the disease.
Of the nine patients confirmed to have the novel coronavirus, Dr. Ansorg said none have been hospitalized and all are well into recovery.