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First COVID-19 case reported in Santa Barbara County

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Posted at 2:27 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-15 18:08:31-04

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is confirming the first positive case of coronavirus in a north county resident.

This is the only confirmed case of COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County at this time, health officials say.

The public health department says the patient is in their 60s and does not have any underlying health conditions. They are recovering in isolation at home until cleared by the public health officer, according to a press release.

Health officials say the person has no history of travel within or outside the country in the last six weeks and it "appears that this is a case of community transmission."

"The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has been actively preparing to ensure that we have a structure in place to effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our county," said Dr. Henning Ansorg, health officer for Santa Barbara County. "At this time we are mandating social distancing measures to slow the spread of the virus. All large nonessential professional, social, and community gatherings should be postponed or canceled, and smaller gatherings should be modified to allow for at least six feet of space between participants."

The public health department says it is working to notify the individual's friends, family members and health care professionals who may have come into contact with the patient.

County health officials will monitor them and take appropriate measures, including testing for infection, if needed, said the press release.