Santa Barbara Co. reports 63 active COVID-19 outbreaks

Posted at 6:02 PM, Sep 01, 2021

Outbreaks of COVID-19 are reaching an all-time high on the Central Coast.

According to health officials in Santa Barbara County, there are currently outbreaks in businesses, schools, and congregate living areas with the most outbreaks being in North County.

The CDC defines a workplace outbreak as three or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers who live in different households within a two-week period.

Santa Barbara County health officials say nearly 65 percent of the eligible population has received the COVID-19 vaccine which means more than 134,714 people, about 1 in 3, have yet to get their vaccine.

With cases still on the rise, outbreaks have also doubled. Currently, the county is seeing a total of 63 active outbreaks; 12 are in businesses, 21 in schools, and 30 in congregate living facilities.

"Nineteen in South County, 16 in the mid-county, and 28 in the North County,” said Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso.

Do-Reynoso says they have three outbreak investigators and a team of 14 contacts tracers as well as four investigators just dedicated to schools.

She adds the largest and longest outbreak in recent months has been at E.F. International school but it’s soon to close out, meaning they have done two rounds of testing and are working on clearing everyone.

According to Santa Barbara County health officials, the second-largest outbreak in the county right now is at the county jail.

"We are having outbreaks in the workplace, we are having outbreaks in congregate living situations where vulnerable community members are residing, and we are having outbreaks in schools, and we can mitigate this. We can all be a part of the solution if we can accept the vaccination,” Do-Reynoso said.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department, there are currently 90 active outbreaks in places like schools, businesses, and long-term care facilities in that county as well.